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Bebi

Fingerprints on trial

6 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Did anyone in the UK catch Panorama last night?

It dealt with the case of Alan McNamara (Scotland) who was wrongly convicted for murder on fingerprint evidence. A female police officer (Shirley McKie) was wrongly accused of perjury in the same trial - also on fingerprint evidence.

Personally I think that the police wanted to wrap the case up asap and when Shirley refused to say it was her print they just tried to bully her into agreeing. By the time it all came to court it was too late and they couldn't very well back down without losing face.

Fingerprints in the dock

For more than 100 years the identification of fingerprints has been fundamental to the solving of crimes.

A single fingerprint can provide enough evidence to send someone to prison for life.

Lawyers will advise clients to plead guilty if they cannot explain why their prints have been found at a crime scene.

But the case of a former Scottish detective whose prints were misidentified by the country's top fingerprint bureau has shaken this faith around the world.

Earlier this year, Shirley McKie was given three quarters of a million pounds in an out of court settlement with the Scottish Criminal Records Office (SCRO).

She had been charged with perjury after telling a court that a fingerprint found at a crime scene could not belong to her because she had never been to the house.

Michael Jackson's lawyers cited the McKie case when questioning the validity of fingerprint evidence at the singer's trial.

International fingerprint experts tell Panorama about their concerns that the infallibility of fingerprints as evidence is now in question.

The Scottish Parliament has invited the four fingerprint experts from the SCRO, who wrongly put Shirley McKie at the murder scene, to be interviewed about their work in the next few weeks.

Source More info here.

Another link:

http://www.clpex.com/Articles/TheDetail/1-99/TheDetail41.htm

Edited by Bebi

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So her print was misidentified and she plead guilty??

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i'll take "losing face"any day over prison time.

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i'll take "losing face"any day over prison time.

Me too!

Let freedom ring!

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Posted (edited)

So her print was misidentified and she plead guilty??

Not exactly. They found a print on an inner door above the body Alan McNamara was charged with murdering, and apparantly the computer brought hers up as being a close match, verified by a visual check. She told her superior officer that she'd never even been in the house to be told she must have been as it was "her print". She's claimed consistently that it wasn't her print and that's what caused the problems - she said she was even beginning to get paranoid that her memory was wrong. Since then it has been verified that it wasn't her print, along with suspicions of deliberate misidentification by the Fingerpring Bureau. I'll try to find some more links as it's a fascinating case and my attempts at explanation don't really do it justice ^_^

From the link in my previous post: http://www.clpex.com/Articles/TheDetail/1-99/TheDetail41.htm (you can watch the programme here)

Last night, BBC's version of U.S. "60 Minutes" (Panorama) aired another show on the Alan McNamara case. Again, an independent expert has reached the same conclusion as reached before: the lift bearing McNamara's print could NOT have come from the item the Greater Manchester Police claim it was lifted from. There are images of the actual lift in question in the broadcast below; I encourage you to watch the program and form your own opinion. More details on this case will be forthcoming after McNamara's appeal is concluded. For now, McNamara case information can be found at the Panorama site:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/audiovide...000/1426720.stm

The new Panorama program is approximately an hour in length, and may be accessed at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/cta/progs/panorama/latest.ram

RealPlayer or MediaPlayer may be needed to view the video. If for some reason the link does not seem to work, you might try going the McNamara page of Panorama's website at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/1983567.stm

Shirley McKie links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/1429484.stm

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/hmic/docs/fppi-15.asp

http://www.innocent.org.uk/misc/fingerprints.html

http://www.shirleymckie.com/index.htm

I'm trying to find examples of the prints the SCRO (Scottish Criminal Record Office) presented as evidence. They were shown on the program and it was shown that they produced increasingly cropped versions as the case went on which seemed to "hide" the non-matching parts of her print with the evidence print. I'll add a link when I find it :tu:

The prints (unfortunately not showing the prosecution's cropping)

http://www.scafo.org/SCRO/scotland_case.htm

SCRO Cover-up: http://onin.com/fp/htm/wwwboard/messages/23.html

(Main page: http://onin.com/fp/htm/wwwboard/wwwboard.html )

Edited by Bebi

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Wow. That is fascinating and scary at the same time.

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