Essays on The Role of Fingerprint Technology in Solving a Thirty-Year-Old Murder Case Essay

The paper "The Role of Fingerprint Technology in Solving a Thirty-Year-Old Murder Case" is an outstanding example of an essay on social science. The individuality of fingerprints and the advancement of forensic science has made it possible for the collection and analysis of important pieces of evidence in the criminal justice system. A fingerprint is one of the most important pieces of evidence in criminal prosecution. There are three kinds of fingerprints that can be identified in a crime scene comprise, patent, latent and impressed. Fingerprints have played a significant in reviving cold cases in which all leads had been exhausted. Technological advancement has opened a new window for opening cold cases by discovering new leads for investigators and making justice possible for victims. The automated fingerprints searching technology played a significant role in identifying the perpetrator of a murder that took place three decades ago. The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) that is maintained by the FBI keeps records of about 73 million criminals. The criminal database is used daily to solve cold cases. In 2012, Douglas Herout and Laura Casey received the Latent Hit award for identifying the man who stabbed Carroll Bonnet to death in 1978 (FBI, 2012).

IAFIS was used to solve the murder case after several failed attempts were made to identify the murderer. The crime took place in 1978, and police gathered all the necessary evidence that included latent fingerprints. Additional fingerprints were collected from the victim’s car which had been stolen and found in Illinois. All the evidence was processed and searched against the local and state fingerprint records. No match was found despite the relentless efforts made by the investigators. The case went cold until 2008 when senior lab technician at the Omaha Police Department, Laura Casey, was prompted to search the prints against IAFIS, which was not in existence in 1978. IAFIS produced possible culprits for the murder within five hours. After several days of careful examination, Casey identified Jerry Watson as the man who had committed the crime (FBI, 2012).