In terms of identifying people, fingerprints have been eclipsed by newer and more sophisticated technologies. The availability of low cost and fast return DNA tests, combined with the opportunity to collect newer and newer forms of evidence altogether, will help close a case more than a fingerprint every time.
On other hand, there is nothing like a fingerprint combined with other non-circumstantial evidence to help a jury feel at home making a conviction. Long story short – get the prints, even if you’ve got more. It will be well worth it.
Fingerprint analysis is conducted with 18th century technology, and as such requires very little in order to get solid and persuasive evidence. Some decry the fingerprint as outdated to the point where it’s unreliable, citing evidence of people who go to the time and pain and expense of having their fingerprints removed.
The person who’s paid to have their finger prints erased or altered is beyond the call of the average spy, and something that most people won’t have to worry about. Focus on the best case scenario, which is going to involve beneficial outcomes from fingerprints collected.
Collecting the fingerprints at the scene of the crime, from the victim or the victim’s possession, and from the surrounding and supporting evidentiary areas like vehicles, requires some skill. Ensuring that there is not damage to the evidence before it can be carefully collected means that there has to be good process and procedure in place.
A senior professor from Liverpool John Moores University shows us how to dust for fingerprints, the easy way!