Expert Testimony: Fingerprint Identification

A fingerprint examiner matches the defendant’s fingerprints to a crime scene latent.

We provide expert testimony that the accuracy of fingerprint identifications is unknown, and that conclusions presented in court cannot be supported.

In company with nearly all research scientists, we testify that there is no scientific evidence that identifications based on fingerprint comparisons are accurate. The error rate of the comparison method (ACE-V) and the skill level of each examiner are unknown.

We have provided testimony in pre-trial Daubert and Frye hearings on the admissibility of fingerprint evidence, and at trials where fingerprint evidence is being presented. In the past decade, we have been retained in nearly 30 cases, approximately half in federal courts, and have provided pre-trial and trial expert testimony in about half of them (see list of Criminal Cases on this website).

Challenges to Fingerprints by Lyn Haber and Ralph HaberThree of our publications are listed on the Research Page of our Website. These include a book: Challenges to Fingerprints, an article on error rates of fingerprint examiners, and an article of the failure of fingerprint technology to meet Daubert standards.

The best resource is our book: Challenges to Fingerprints, (2009), which is the most up-to-date analysis of fingerprint evidence, how comparisons are performed, absence of evidence about the accuracy of an identification, absence of adequate documentation of the steps performed, and court acceptance. This can be purchased from the publisher: Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company in Tucson, AZ ($35.00) or from ($25.00).

The best resource on governmental concerns is a report by the National Academy of Sciences (2009): Strengthening Forensic Sciences in the United States: A Path Forward, Washington, DC, The National Academies Press (

CLICK HERE to go to the Research Page.

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