Case study from USA
Conviction Through Enhanced Fingerprint Identification
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Dec 1992.
March 1990, an unknown assailant sexually molested and fatally stabbed a young woman.
Only evidence was a pillowcase, that had several bloodstains.
One stain showed some faint fingerprint ridge detail, barely visible even to the trained eye.
Fingerprint presented enough ridge detail to conduct a more extensive investigation.
Fingerprint treated with DFO, (a fluorescent chemical). It provided an improved ridge detail photo.
Ridge detail still remained blurred, poor general continuity and visible fabric weave in the background.
All traditional photographic techniques failed to erase the distortion.
Analysts subsequently concluded that the latent was unidentifiable.
Demonstration of fingerprint image enhancement at a forensic conference.
Best DFO photograph was handed over for image enhancement.
Throughout the enhancement process,the accuracy of the print was documented through photographic records of each stage.
Within 4 hours, the enhancement yielded an identifiable print.
Software used was Morhitz Digital Imaging (“Morhitz”)
Defense attorneys launched an attack on most vulnerable piece of evidence
Scientific acceptance of fingerprint image processing.
To counter, an analyst took the court step by step through the entire procedure using a full complement of image enhancement equipment.
An expert in the field of image processing then offered supporting testimony to the court.
An wine-shop robbery happened.
was captured on CCTV
defendant was identified from the CCTV recording by a Police.
Defendant strongly denied being the Offender.
An agency (RJB Forensics Ltd, UK) was engaged to attempt image enhancement and facial comparison
Agency produced still prints of the Offender from the CCTV footage.
Defendant from similar camera positions (elevation, rotation and camera-to-subject distance) to use for direct comparison with the images of the Offender.
Challenge: Image quality, masking of the facial features of the Offender by headwear.
Findings: Despite the limited image quality, a number of significant differences were found between the facial features of the Defendant and those of the Offender
The vertical facial feature proportions were different
Significant differences were found between the facial features of the Defendant and those of the Offender.
Expert evidence was given orally at Court.
The Defendant was found Not Guilty.
Traffic control / disruption during inspection.
3D images and high-resolution color 2D images captured @ 100 km/h.
Cracks, ruts, and potholes could be detected
Cracks and detailed color images could be obtained from 2D images.
Reduces the errors and risks, and enhances greater on-site efficiency.
Noncontact nondestructive inspections: Only photographs are taken from a safe place in a short time. It contributes to greater on-site efficiency.
Purpose: investigate cracks in a concrete dam.
Challenge: There had been no effective inspection method because the dam cannot be easily touched or approached.