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Journal of Forensic Identification

JFI Article Abstracts from 2023 are available to view here at this time

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JFI Abstracts from 2024

Issue 1: Jan - Apr 2024 

The Law Enforcement Agency Forensic Anthropologist

Author(s): Friedlander, Hanna; Kim, Jaymelee J.
Type: Technical Note
Published: 2024, Volume 74, Issue 1, Page 1
Abstract: Recent scholarship has emphasized professionaliza-tion within anthropology specific to forensic anthropology. In these debates, issues of certification, expertise, training, compensation, and job placement have been underscored. As research expands in biological, archaeological, and cultural issues pertinent to forensic anthropological work, the abilities and potential areas of specialization continue to rapidly expand. Yet, in the United States, many medical examiner’s offices contract forensic anthropologists or individuals trained in a related field on a part-time basis. Here, this paper draws on existing literature and professional experience to put forth an alter-native area of employment specifically for anthropologists – the law enforcement anthropologist. This paper argues for the use of full-time, civilian forensic anthropologists in law enforcement agencies that can collaborate with anthropologists associated with the medical examiner's office. It can be seen that law enforcement agency anthropologist can use anthropological training to increase success in search and recovery operations, securing fragile crime scenes (e.g., fatal fires), processing remains, consider biocultural issues, and assist in the identification process. Having an anthropologist situated within law enforcement not only provides another avenue of professional employment, but streamlines communication between law enforcement and the medical examiner's office, sensitizes law enforcement to the vital contributions of forensic anthropologists, and enhances the identification process.

Fingerprint Transfer Mechanism to Adhesive Tapes Through Latex Gloves

Author(s): Aronson, Ayal; Grimberg, Ziv; Cohen, Yaron; Levin-Elad, Michal
Type: Technical Note
Published: 2024, Volume 74, Issue 1, Page 17
Abstract: Abstract: In forensic science, latex gloves are used to prevent law enforcement personnel from contaminating crime scenes or evidence with DNA or marks from the hands. Law enforcement personnel, how-ever, are not the only people who want to avoid leaving DNA or latent marks at a crime scene. Perpetrators of crimes may also wear latex gloves. Alas, several forensic scientists reported that in certain cases even while wearing latex gloves, fingerprints transferred to adhesive tapes while attempting to process the tape for latent marks. Pressure sensitive tapes tend to be ideal surfaces for recovering latent marks and are commonly encountered in criminal cases involving drug pack-aging, explosive devices, or violent crimes (e.g., binding a victim's hands and feet). When a latent mark is developed on the adhesive sur-face of the tape, it may not be obvious if the latent mark was made by a bare finger or a gloved finger. Knowing that a suspect wore gloves could sometimes discourage the investigation unit from performing fingermark development procedures, as the odds to recover evidence successfully are limited. This study examines the feasibility of the transfer of friction ridge details through latex gloves to different types of adhesive tapes and uncovers the required conditions and a possible mechanism for the occurrence of this phenomenon. The findings of this work show that it is possible to develop and identify fingermarks transferred originally by gloved fingers. This study also shows that visualization of ridge details on adhesive tapes surfaces contain unique characteristics, which aid differentiating between bare or gloved hands.

Forensic Iris Recognition: A Survey

Author(s): Bhuiyan, Rasel Ahmed; Czajka, Adam
Type: Technical Note
Published: 2024, Volume 74, Issue 1, Page 38
Abstract: Iris recognition is a biometric technology that utilizes the feature sets in an individual’s iris for identification purposes. Iris recognition is a non-invasive technique that does not require physical contact with the identified individual. Post-mortem iris recognition refers to using iris images from a deceased person to identify or verify their identity. It has several potential applications, such as forensic investigations and disaster victim identification. However, biological changes after death can cause significant differences between the post-mortem and ante-mortem iris data, which presents challenges for iris-capturing sensors, feature extractors, and iris matchers. This paper surveys existing research on using iris images for post-mortem identification, including a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art and a summary of the latest results and observations. This survey has several unique elements, which provide a valuable resource for researchers and practitioners seeking to understand the capabilities and limitations of post-mortem iris recognition technology. Firstly, we discuss the post-mortem iris recognition steps and biological changes in the iris texture after a person’s death from a medical standpoint. We then present the approaches to address the post-mortem iris recognition problem, including traditional iris recognition techniques, deep learning-based strategies, and interpretable methods. Furthermore, we provide the potential confounding factors that might impact the recognition performance. We also offer a comprehensive review of the publicly available post-mortem iris databases and the evaluation metrics used to assess the performance of post-mortem iris recognition systems. Finally, we conclude the paper by providing a constructive discussion and emerging future research directions.

Fraudulent Latent Prints: A Discussion on Their Implications in Forensic Casework

Author(s): Werner, Hilary; Hudman, Rachel
Type: Article
Published: 2024, Volume 74, Issue 1, Page 63
Abstract: This article reviews a selection of cases involving forged or fabricated friction ridge impressions. Definitions and methods of forged and fabricated friction ridge impressions are described. Although the detection of fraudulent friction ridge impressions by a latent print examiner may be difficult in casework, notable distortion factors from known cases are summarized. Further research regarding methods of forgery and fabrication and formal training of examiners should raise alertness and benefit the criminal justice process.

Recovery of Footwear Impression Evidence Using Portable Three- Dimensional Scanning Technologies: A Pilot Study

Author(s): Harvey, Julia; Liscio, Eugene; Lowe, Amanda; Stotesbury, Theresa
Type: Article
Published: 2024, Volume 74, Issue 1, Page 90
Abstract: Current methods used to document and collect foot-wear impression evidence are destructive and lack high-resolution three-dimensional detail. This study explored the use of non-invasive three-dimensional scanning technologies to document and collect the three-dimensional characteristics of footwear impression evidence. Footwear impressions created in sand and garden soil using a sneaker and a boot (n=4) were documented and collected using a digital single-lens ref lex (DSLR) camera using the photogrammet-ric method, a Polyga Compact L6 structured light scanner, and an Artec Space Spider structured light scanner. The Polyga Compact L6 acted as the high-resolution baseline that most closely represented the actual footwear impressions. Point clouds and meshes were compared in CloudCompare to determine the level of intra-variability between the Artec Space Spider and photogrammetry technologies. The Artec Space Spider was the most accurate of the methods for documentation and collection for all impressions with a mean absolute distance of 0.148 mm or less. Photogrammetry had a mean absolute distance of 0.176 mm or less. It was found that three-dimensional scanning technologies are viable as a compliment for two-dimensional photographs and casting when collecting footwear impression evidence.