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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220839 Find in a Library
Title: Trace Biometrics and Criminal Investigation (From Handbook of Criminal Investigation, P 357-380, 2007, Tim Newburn, Tom Williamson, and Alan Wright, eds., See NCJ-220829)
Author(s): Robin Williams; Paul Johnson
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Collected Work
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter challenges the current narrow understanding of the scope and significance of human science research and scholarship for an understanding of forensic science and encourages a wider consideration of the link between the achievements of forensic scientists and the objectives of criminal investigators.
Abstract: The discussion focuses on the achievement of human identification in the course of crime investigations. The authors consider the ways in which novel methods for capturing the unique characteristics of the bodies of humans may enhance and modify criminal investigation methods. This is done primarily through the collection of the physical traces of the bodies of offenders left at a crime scene in the course of committing a crime. The discussion focuses on two trace biometric technologies used to infer individual identity from materials recovered from crime scenes: fingerprinting and DNA profiling. Before considering the details of collecting fingerprints and DNA samples at crime scenes, the chapter addresses the general investigative practices of recovering physical evidence from crime scenes and crime-scene examination. Another issue considered is the creation and expansion of the scope of biometric databases, i.e., collections of fingerprints and DNA profiles of known offenders and/or arrestees for use in matching crime-scene fingerprint and DNA samples from unknown suspects. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how to measure forensic effectiveness in criminal investigations. Such information is necessary in order to balance the usefulness of biometrics in criminal investigations with the right of privacy as an issue in the expansion of the number of people whose fingerprints and DNA profiles are maintained by government agencies. 13 notes and 106 references
Main Term(s): Criminal investigation
Index Term(s): Forensic sciences
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