CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Brady violations by DPS fingerprint examiners? Is fingerprint examination even science?"

An interesting post over at Grits for Breakfast. In part:

Mr. Strong described what happens when the first examiner finds a match but the verifying analyst doesn't agree. In such instances, he said, they notified their supervisor and all of them conferred to make a decision. A defense attorney in the crowd asked what seemed to me an obvious question: When two examiners originally disagreed but a supervisor resolved the issue in favor of a match, was that disagreement recorded in the final report? No, replied Strong, only the conclusion. At this, the audience began to murmur and fidget. Somebody from the back cried out, "Have you ever heard of Brady v. Maryland?," which is the US Supreme Court case requiring the state to turn over all exculpatory evidence to the defense  before trial. No he had not, replied a credulous Strong, a statement which elicited an audible gasp from the crowd.

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