Topics: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime, Police Pages: 6 (1932 words) Published: June 7, 2013
Criminal Identification procedures in the 21 Century

CJA 364

Everything in life evolves and takes another form. Crime is no exception it does the same thing as well. Crime is changing in the modern world we live in today and criminals are more sophisticated and intelligent then before. The computer world has brought many technological advancements and even the criminal justice system has benefit from it. One of the most useful gifts that was given to the system was fingerprint and palm print. This advancement brought with it advantages and disadvantages. The effects of these advances on the constitution can be surprising. The advances also effect the efficiency of the criminal justice system from the perspective of crime control. These crucial findings can lead to recommendations concerning the use and reliance on these advances.

The act makes it a federal offense to knowingly transfer or use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law. (Schmalleger, 2010, ch. 9).

Advantages and Disadvantages
“Fingerprint-based criminal checks can be a valuable tool to help mitigate risk in an organization’s background screening program.”(Sferry,2009) “More organizations would probably utilize this tool except for the simple fact that access to state and federal fingerprint databases for employment purposes requires legislated permission.” (Sferry,2009) The ability to use fingerprinting as a means of proving identity was revolutionary. What this did was offer an infallible means of ability to be able to verify personal identification. This made the recording of criminals and their identities a common practice and method to be able to determine their culpability and involvement as suspects in future crimes. Fingerprinting and now palm printing are practices that have been in place for over 100 years to provide accurate identification for criminals. In all of this time, no two-finger prints have ever been recorded to be identical in billions of human and automated computer scans and comparisons. They are the most commonly used forensic evidence in the world today and they continue to be the most common method for identifying persons as the database of finger and palm prints grows. They remain an advantage for many reasons. Of all human characteristics they are one that never changes. They are a single unique attribute that can only belong to the single individual and can guarantee an absolute match. Unlike names or faces, they can’t be changed. The biggest advantage is why they are still in use today and considered the most effective means of identification, if a finger print matches; you have successfully identified the person it belongs to without question. In our criminal justice system we live by a rule that has made this country great, you are considered innocent until proven guilty. If your fingerprint is found on a murder weapon, you are very close to being proven guilty. The biggest disadvantage with this method is that the majority of the records on file are from criminals. If a match comes back and the person with the print has no record then you have no way to find that person because they have never been caught as a criminal. Finger and palm printing databases only consists of individuals who have committed crimes and have criminal records. And even this may not be true in all cases, some jurisdictions choose to only fingerprint specific types of crimes. Even then if a person has had their finger or palm print matched to their criminal records, the identified...

References: (1999). Retrieved August 19, 2011, from
(2006, August 7). Retrieved August 19, 2011, from
(2011). Retrieved August 19, 2011, from The FBI: The Federal Bureau of Investigation:
Schmalleger, F.(2010). Criminal law today: An introduction with capstone cases. (4th ed.) Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
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