Magazine article Corrections Forum

Palmprint Technology Catches Up to Fingerprint Technology

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Palmprint Technology Catches Up to Fingerprint Technology

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Law Enforcement Technology Palmprint technology could soon be used by law enforcement. Up until now, according to Kenneth Moses, Director of San Franciscobased Forensic Identification Services, the introduction of livescan fingerprinting of arrested persons has had a severely detrimental effect on the collection of palmprints, with jailers unwilling to use electronic capture for fingerprints and then having to use ink to get palmprints. Moreover, a manual comparison is very tedious, even when a search is restricted to a small number of suspects. Palmprints can have 1,000 minutiae, approximately 8 times to 12 times more minutiae than fingerprints have, and palmprints have never had a widely used classification system like the one employed for fingerprints. As a result, Moses said, many law enforcement agencies that at one time collected palmprints no longer do so. Without palmprint evidence, however, some cases may never be solved. According to Ron Smith, associate director of the Mississippi Crime Lab, based on data that he has collected, approximately 25 percent to 30 percent of the latent impressions found at a crime scene will be palmprints or partial palmprints. …

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