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Essay On Fingerprinting

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The term forensic is used often among television crime dramas but what is it? Forensic, as defined by Oxford Dictionary of English, is “relating to or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime (Stevenson). This science has led to the capture of many criminals. DNA testing has been a large part of this forensic science, however forensics played a large role prior to DNA testing being developed. Fingerprinting, blood typing, and trace evidence were three of the forensic tests in use before DNA testing that helped identify a suspect.
Fingerprinting is a technique that has been in use for a long time. In 1880, a Scottish doctor, Henry Faulds, first suggested to the British that fingerprints could be used in criminal investigations. This suggestion had merit because every person has a unique set of fingerprints. The concept was then incorporated into the law system. Fingerprints are, in fact, most often used in prosecutions. They are to help the prosecutors identify a suspect and to place them at the scene of a crime (“Fingerprints” 410-411). Fingerprints can be left on almost any surface, including smooth ones. The combination of the friction ridges, or the raised grooves on the fingertips, and sweat that gathers there is what causes the fingerprint to leave a trace (Bergman and Berman-Barrett). Fingerprinting is widely used today and I believe it still plays a large and crucial role in criminal investigations.
Blood Typing, or Serology, is another method of identification used in forensics. This type of science is focused on the study of Antigens in the blood and how specific antibodies places blood into separate groups. The blood groups most commonly used in this scie...

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...croscopically match fibers from carpet to a specific car is fascinating and intriguing. Trace evidence also seems to be easily left behind, where as fingerprints can be concealed with rubber gloves and blood is not always left at crime scenes.
Forensic science consists of many different components that have helped solve many crimes. Fingerprinting can be used to place criminals at scenes and to identify suspects. Serology is a science that has become outdated but helped prosecutors narrow down suspects. It ultimately led to the development of DNA testing, the culprit for its demise. Edmund Locard was the innovator behind the concept of trace evidence and how particles can be compared microscopically to help in crime solving. All of these aspects of forensics potentially led to the development of DNA testing and laid the groundwork for future expansion.
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