Smartphones for Latent Print Examination

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available the following final technical report: "Smartphone Technology for Capturing Untreated Latent Fingerprints Feasibility Research".

Tony Warren, EOIR Technologies Inc.

One goal of this research was to determine the feasibility of using digital photography to capture images of untreated latent fingerprints for identification purposes. Another goal was to create a portable, handheld imaging device, with spectral filters, that could take photos of untreated latent fingerprints that are of similar quality to photos of dusted latent fingerprints.

The authors developed a technique for collecting digital images of untreated latent fingerprints from specific substrates that could be used for forensic purposes by latent print examiners or by using Cogent’s Automatic Fingerprint Identification System. The study found that using a digital imaging device with spectral filters is a viable and nondestructive method for identifying untreated latent fingerprints, which can also be followed by dusting or chemical treatment methods, if required.

Download the full, 98-page report here.

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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.