A police officer rushes up to the fingerprint examiner and pleads for help.The suspect sitting in the interrogation room is as guilty as can be, the officer insists, and a confirmed fingerprint match would surely bring about a confession.Not exactly the environment to produce an unbiased examination.But neither is it far-fetched in the sometimes boiling climate of crime-fighting. Police officers want arrests to stick, they want to get criminals off the street, and if the system allows them such access to the key processors of information, well, some officers will take advantage."They put pressure on you shamelessly," Pat Wertheim, a longtime fingerprint examiner, said. "I've felt it. "
See related Grits posts:
- Houston fingerprint lab plagued with errors, two year backlog
- Coming to grips with unscientific forensic practices
- NAS report: Many forensic disciplines prone to error
- Fallible Fingerprints: The Dustup Over Cognitive Bias
- USDOJ should embrace, not fight forensics based science
- US justice system commonly relies on shoddy forensic 'science'
- Politics push for expanded fingerprinting, biometric profiles