Scientific_Methodology

Scientific_Methodology - Scientific Methodology and the...

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1 Scientific Methodology and the Friction Ridge Identification Process Mary Beeton, A.F.I.S. Technician Durham Regional Police Service Oshawa, Ontario Please note that the following is primarily a compilation of ideas and protocols developed by S/Sgt. David Ashbaugh and Pat Wertheim C.L.P.E. with a few modifications based on the author’s personal preferences. Extensive detail, especially with respect to the ‘examination of the latent’, has not been provided since the purpose of this document is to provide a friction ridge identification process within a scientific methodology framework. Certain aspects of this proposed scientific methodology may or may not be applicable depending on the level of examiner expertise and each particular ‘latent to print’ identification process case. According to S/Sgt. David Ashbaugh of the R.C.M.P., the complete friction ridge identification process involves both the application of an “identification philosophy and scientific methodology” in order to determine whether or not an ‘unknown friction ridge impression’ (herein referred to as a latent ) originated from the same source as a ‘known inked print’ (herein referred to as a print ) to the exclusion of all others.[1] David Ashbaugh describes the identification philosophy as, “a guide or explanation of how friction ridge quantitative-qualitative analysis is transformed into an opinion of individuality. It describes the friction ridge formations used during analysis and establishes parameters as to how much knowledge one must have to perform such a function. The philosophy of friction ridge identification can be paraphrased with the following statement: Friction ridge identification is established through the agreement of friction ridge formations, in sequence, having sufficient [observed] uniqueness to individualize.” Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation and Verification, more commonly referred to as A.C.E.-V., is described by David Ashbaugh as the scientific methodology portion of the entire friction ridge identification process. It should be noted, however, that some do not consider verification as part of the actual identification process. “Verification is the identification process repeated in someone else’s mind.” [2] The actual identification process involves analysis, comparison and evaluation (A.C.E.) of the latent and known prints by the Latent Print Examiner. Pat A. Wertheim, C.L.P.E. proposes a different approach to this three-step identification process. Mr. Wertheim proposes a ‘Five-Step’ formula that he states, “in essence, is nothing more than an alternative way of explaining the same mental process [as with A.C.E.]. The conclusion reached by the examiner would be the same and verification is still required. But some examiners find the five-step formula easier to understand, easier to apply, and more precise in its explanation to a layperson.” [2] The following discussion will deal primarily with the ‘Five-step’ identification approach:
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Scientific_Methodology - Scientific Methodology and the...

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