For centuries, fingerprints have been a form of identification because of their supposedly unique marks. Parents may register fingerprints of their children in case they become lost, and more modern technology uses fingerprints as a method of securing personal information. Of course, fingerprints have long been part of criminal investigations.
If police recently arrested you for a serious crime, they may have told you that your fingerprints were at the scene, perhaps even on the weapon they believe you used to commit the crime. While you may feel you have little chance of refuting forensic evidence, especially fingerprints, modern courts are not so quick to blindly accept forensics as science.
While it may be true that each person has a unique fingerprint, the problem some courts have is that the interpretation of those fingerprints is not always reliable. One judge in a U.S. District Court ruled that the methods used for interpreting fingerprints do not meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s standards of scrutiny. Because of this, it is possible that the fingerprint evidence against you may be in question as well.
A fingerprint expert who testifies against you may say your fingerprints match those found at the crime scene, but the standards these experts use to define what is a match are not always clear. Since the methods fingerprint experts use do not comply with scientific standards, some courts are not allowing fingerprint experts to testify at trial.
Other forensics inconsistencies
You may be relieved to know that recent years have seen courts requiring more from the process of forensic investigation. For example, the methods for examining and comparing hair samples, bite marks and handwriting have all come under criticism, and several cases have seen the exclusion of what used to be assumed as key pieces of evidence. However, fingerprints have remained as the stronghold of evidence.
If you are facing charges for a felony crime such as murder, every piece of evidence affects your future. You want to be certain the jury does not see evidence that investigators collect for the sake of convicting you instead of in the search for the truth. Having a strong and relentless criminal defense attorney on your side can be a great benefit to you in this situation. A skilled North Carolina attorney will have the experience to question and challenge any forensic evidence prosecutors claim to have against you.