Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Chair

Thomas Pittman

Committee Chair Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 2

Dean Bertram

Committee Member 2 Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 3

Kelly Dial

Committee Member 3 Department

Criminal Justice


Since the case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the Daubert criteria is nothing new to forensic science. Today's practices and techniques presented in a court of law are held to high scientific scrutiny. For nearly 100 years, expert witness testimony concerning fingerprint identification has been allowed into courts with little challenge, as it is supported by several areas of research that acknowledge that no two fingerprints are the same; they will remain unchanged during an individuals lifetime, and that fingerprints have a general systematic classification system. In the past, the assumption was always made that palm prints adhered to this criteria as well. In fact, very little research has been conducted that supports all the premises of fingerprints, with this lack of support also being applicable to palm prints. Thus, there is an aim to establish a biological foundation that fingerprints and palm prints can be equated biologically, and therefore it is necessary to conduct vast amounts of research to demonstrate a correlation between second level minutia detail as it exists in fingerprints and palm prints.