Forensic use of fingermarks and fingerprints

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    The aim of this entry is to describe and explain the main forensic uses of fingermarks and fingerprints. It defines the concepts and provides the nomenclature related to forensic dactyloscopy. It describes the structure of the papillary ridges, the organization of the information in three levels, and its use for the fingerprint classification and individualization processes. It focuses on the variability and the distinctiveness of the marks and the prints and the exploitation of these properties in the forensic context. It emphasizes the difference between the properties of the mark and the prints in relation with the individualization process. It describes the current practice for fingermark evidence evaluation and analyzes the limits of forensic evaluation based on deterministic conclusions. It discusses the admissibility of the fingerprint evidence and provides casework examples involving misidentifications. It introduces the results of statistical research based on empirical data, statistical modeling, and an evaluation framework aiming at the description of the strength of evidence. Finally, it puts in perspective the current practice and the results of research and addresses the question of future developments in the field.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biometrics
    EditorsStan Z. Li, Anil K. Jain
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)978-3-642-27733-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Publication series



    • SCS-Safety
    • EWI-25369
    • IR-93352
    • METIS-309691
    • Biometrics

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