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Comprehensive Question List for the Courtroom: Re-evaluating and Revising the Qualifying Question List for Latent Print Testimony

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Identification Volume: 52 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2002 Pages: 825-731
Steve Scarborough
Alan L. McRoberts
Date Published
November 2002
7 pages
This article examines the revision of the question list for latent print testimony in the courtroom developed by latent print examiners and law enforcement professionals.
Even though responses to questions from the question list for courtroom latent print testimony are continually being revised and improved, latent print examiners and law enforcement professionals have not revised their question list from when it was first created. Question lists need to be refined with better wording of the traditional questions, more extensive responses, and newly added questions. It is recommended that a question could be designed that illustrates the relevance the history of fingerprint identification has to the current practice in the discipline, showing the advancement of peer acceptance for fingerprints and the extensive research that has been done. A revised and expanded court testimony question list could include new questions with expanded answers in order to provide a comprehensive background for fingerprint identification. The court qualifying question list can be a living document that should be flexible, adaptable, and current. The order and selection of questions, as well as the wording, can be adapted for the comfort of the law enforcement professional testifying on latent fingerprint comparisons and identifications. References