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Truth MachineThe Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting$
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Michael Lynch, Simon A. Cole, and Ruth McNally

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226498065

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226498089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Fingerprinting and Probability

Fingerprinting and Probability

(p.293) Interlude E Fingerprinting and Probability
Truth Machine
University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates why latent fingerprint comparisons have thus far proved intractable to probabilistic analysis. It explains that forensic DNA researchers did not claim that DNA fingerprints were unique to individuals and that they developed probability estimates by collecting samples and building databases of DNA profiles from samples drawn from various so-called racial or ethnic populations. The chapter also considers the work of the latent print examiner and comments on the court's usual practice of allowing them to “testify about identity as if it were fact, not opinion.”

Keywords:   latent fingerprint, DNA fingerprints, probability estimates, DNA profiles, latent print examiner, forensic DNA researchers

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