Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dean Bertram, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Criminal Justice

Abstract

With several applications of forensic processes coming into question, becoming a reputable expert witness in a court of law can be dire. This pilot study explores the professional opinions of latent fingerprint examiners employed by state criminal investigation departments. Research was geared towards measuring the notion that gaining certification through institutions such as the International Association for Identification (IAI) aids in the perception of latent fingerprint examiners’ credibility and confidence as expert witnesses. The sample population of latent fingerprint examiners (LFPEs) was gathered using a digital survey issued to the forensic laboratories and divisions housed within state criminal investigation units. The results found a majority of LFPEs who were certified exercising more perceptive levels of credibility and confidence than those without certification. There were also minute differences between the ideologies of credibility versus confidence. Further research is requested to gather larger sample sizes of latent fingerprint examiners in order to explore more variables related to latent print examiners’ field of forensic science.

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