Crime scene to court: a study on finger-mark aging

O'Hagan, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5361-8320 and Green, S., 2018. Crime scene to court: a study on finger-mark aging. Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal, 6 (6), pp. 491-503. ISSN 2469-2794

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Fingerprint evidence is at the forefront of most criminal cases, with important issues raised regarding the age of the mark. Was the finger-mark deposited during the crime, or at a time not related for legitimate reasons? An in-depth understanding of their change over time from the initial to the aged stage, is paramount to applying a robust aging model. Focusing on the influential factors, including donor variability and environmental conditions, along with their effects on physical or chemical characteristics as aging parameters, previously proposed techniques have been analysed in attempt to find suitable parameters to solve the dating issue. This review suggests that despite the variation of methods trialled, the question of fingermark dating remains largely unanswered. Whilst some techniques showed promise, they all possessed limitations, mainly due to the large effects of influential factors inconsistently altering the deposit over time. Without reproducible aging trends, estimating an accurate and reliable age is unrealistic. Considering additional research, there is requirement for an aging method to be tested using large donor volumes and contaminants on a wide range of substrates. Each must be subjected to ranging environmental conditions to plot aging curves. Reviewing and comparing the techniques, benefits have been identified for selecting target lipid compounds and obtaining ratios between them. Proposing a spectroscopic method, coupled with an analytical instrument enables for quantification to observe a model for application to a multitude of scenarios. In the ideal situation, the method should be validated and undertaken in an accredited laboratory, meaning results obtained would stand up to cross- examination when employed in court.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Forensic Research & Criminology International Journal
Creators: O'Hagan, A. and Green, S.
Date: 7 December 2018
Volume: 6
Number: 6
ISSN: 2469-2794
Rights: ©2018 Hagan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially. Open Access by MedCrave Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 21 Dec 2018 14:05
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2019 10:03

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