Review of FBI latent print unit processes and recommendations to improve practices and quality

Melissa Anne Smrz, Steven G. Burmeister, Anja Einseln, Constance L. Fisher, Robert Fram, Robert B. Stacey, Catherine E. Theisen, Bruce Budowle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the aftermath of the March 11, 2004, Madrid train bombing, personnel from one of the FBI Latent Print Units (LPUs) performed a latent print analysis and reported an individualization of that print with a candidate print derived from an Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification (IAFIS) search. Subsequently that individualization was determined to be in error, and the latent print was ultimately identified correctly as belonging to a different subject. By all accounts, the incorrect identification was primarily due to human error and does not in itself call into question the fundamental reliability of latent print friction ridge skin impression pattern analysis. Because of quality-assurance practices and the FBI Laboratory's desire to improve its operations, the FBI Laboratory took the opportunity to identify limitations in its current practices in friction ridge skin impression pattern analysis. Eight internal latent print review teams were created to (1) conduct a more extensive review of the current practices in the LPUs and (2) suggest to the FBI Laboratory Director courses of action for improvement. This report details the findings and recommendations made by the internal review teams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-434
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Forensic Identification
Volume56
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2006

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Review of FBI latent print unit processes and recommendations to improve practices and quality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Smrz, M. A., Burmeister, S. G., Einseln, A., Fisher, C. L., Fram, R., Stacey, R. B., Theisen, C. E., & Budowle, B. (2006). Review of FBI latent print unit processes and recommendations to improve practices and quality. Journal of Forensic Identification, 56(3), 402-434.