Lab 16. Fingerprint Comparisons
The purpose of comparing fingerprints is to determine whether an unknown, latent fingerprint and a known fingerprint come from the same source. Identifying an individual as the source of a latent print is possible because fingerprints are both unique and permanent. Latent fingerprints may be developed with physical or chemical methods. Known fingerprints may be recorded in ink or powder or with a Livescan device. Comparing latent prints to known prints involves discerning similarities and differences in patterns. The appearance of a latent print depends on the processing method, deposition pressure, distortion, substrate characteristics, the amount and type of matrix on the friction ridges, and the elasticity of the skin.