A guide to interpreting forensic testimony: scientific approaches to fingerprint evidence

Edmond, Gary, Thompson, Matthew B. and Tangen, Jason M. (2013) A guide to interpreting forensic testimony: scientific approaches to fingerprint evidence. Law, Probability and Risk, 13 1: 1-25. doi:10.1093/lpr/mgt011

Author Edmond, Gary
Thompson, Matthew B.
Tangen, Jason M.
Title A guide to interpreting forensic testimony: scientific approaches to fingerprint evidence
Journal name Law, Probability and Risk   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1470-8396
Publication date 2013-03-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/lpr/mgt011
Open Access Status
Volume 13
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 25
Total pages 25
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract In response to criticism of latent fingerprint evidence from a variety of authoritative extra-legal inquiries and reports, this essay describes the first iteration of a guide designed to assist with the reporting and interpretation of latent fingerprint evidence. Sensitive to the recommendations of these reports, we have endeavoured to incorporate emerging empirical evidence about the matching performance of fingerprint examiners (i.e. indicative error rates) into their testimony. We outline a way of approaching fingerprint evidence that provides a more accurate—in the sense of empirically and theoretically justified—indication of the value of fingerprint evidence than existing practice. It is an approach that could be introduced immediately. The proposal is intended to help non-experts understand the value of the evidence and improve its presentation and assessment in criminal investigations and proceedings. This first iteration accommodates existing empirical evidence and draws attention to the gap between the declaration of a match and positive identification (or individualization). Represented in this way, fingerprint evidence will be more consistent with its known value as well as the aims and conduct of the accusatorial trial.
Keyword Error
Expert evidence
Forensic science
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 30 Mar 2014, 00:35:30 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology