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Search results for "fingerprint analysis" ...
For almost a century, fingerprint evidence has been a revered cornerstone of the American criminal justice system. But that may soon change. Last fall, in a Baltimore murder case, a judge ruled that fingerprint analysis is not reliable, which shocked lawyers across the country and could possibly put thousands of criminal investigations in jeopardy. CBS News spent months researching the use of fingerprints in murder trials as well as assessing the future of fingerprint evidence.
This documentary exposes a lack of oversight and integrity at forensic crime labs across the country. It uncovers negligent work, nonexistent standards and even crooked lab employees. The story casts doubt on the reliability of forensic science techniques ranging from fingerprinting to hair analysis to DNA testing.
This story investigated the validity of a forensics technique, comparative lead bullet analysis, that has been used by the FBI crime laboratory since the late 1960's. FBI scientists determine the trace metal profile of a lead slug and then compare bullet profiles. They found there was not a solid scientific backing for this technique and that new research indicates that the conclusions the FBI examiners drew about relationships between were, at best, unwarranted. There was never evidence to conclude that the fact that two bullets share similar trace element profiles means they are in some way connected, and there is now evidence against that conclusion. This is important because the technique is commonly used in murder cases where traditional ballistics cannot be used and, often where there is little evidence.
Tags: forensics; FBI; crime lab; lead bullet analysis; FBI scientists; lead slug; FBI examiners; American Chemical Society; National Academy of Sciences; bullet lead; fingerprint analysis; Iowa State University; National Research Council; Middlesex County Superior Court; crime scene; FBI testimony; National Research Council; rifling-mark analysis