Item of Interest

Listen to oral arguments in an important fingerprint case before the New Hampshire Supreme Court

Latent-fingerprint examiners and forensic professionals may be interested to hear a complete recording of a recent New Hampshire Supreme Court hearing, in which a number of important points were discussed regarding protocol for friction-ridge analysis as well as admissibility issues.

Latent-fingerprint examiners and forensic professionals may be interested to hear a complete recording of a recent New Hampshire Supreme Court hearing, in which a number of important points were discussed regarding protocol for friction-ridge analysis as well as admissibility issues. Some of the topics covered in the hearing included the requirements for contemporaneous written documentation during a latent-print examination, blind verification standards, and the role of the judge as gatekeeper of evidence admitted to a trial. The oral arguments presented in court on February 13, 2008 were part of an appeal of State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The appeal was requested by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office following a January 2007 ruling by Justice Patricia C. Coffee of the Rockingham County Superior Court—and her subsequent denial of the State’s Motion to Reconsider in March 2007—to exclude the testimony of a latent-fingerprint examiner from the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory. It is expected that the New Hampshire Supreme Court will return its ruling within a few months. For background on this case, you can refer to back issues of Evidence Technology Magazine: March-April 2007, Vol. 5 No. 2, Pages 26-27 and May-June 2007, Vol. 5 No. 3, Page 20.)

To listen to audio of the hearing, go to www.courts.nh.gov and scroll through the archives to find oral arguments heard on February 13, 2008 for Case 2007-0300.


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED:
March-April 2008 (Volume 6, Number 2)
Evidence Technology Magazine
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