Total Vindication
for Shirley McKie!
Shirley McKie with her father, Iain McKie
     BBC Photo
 Thursday, 22 June 2000
At last total vindication for Shirley McKie and all the fingerprint experts wordwide who supported her. 

This is an extract from a press release issued today by Mr William Taylor, HMCI, who headed the enquiry into SCRO: 

'Expert assistance was given to HMCI and this included opinion on the latent mark in the McKie case. The experts concluded that the latent mark is not that of Shirley McKie. 

Consideration will be given to a centralised fingerprint service for Scotland... 

There is need for a fully planned move towards the introduction of a non-numeric standard. 

Improvements in the training, testing and quality assurance measures. 

Creation of a properly resourced "task force" to drive through the HMCI Inspection report and the move to a non-numeric standard. 

At present SCRO (Fingerprint) is not fully effective and efficient.' 

The full report will be published in August. 

The Minister for Justice, Mr Jim Wallace, made an emergency statement in the Scottish Parliament today which Shirley and I attended. 

The Lord Advocate went further in saying that all future 'idents' to the prosecution in Scotland by SCRO will be subject to independent verification by a bureau outwith SCRO. 

Apologies were made - the vindication of Shirley McKie and the indictment of SCRO was complete.

As we have learned from bitter experience this is not the end of this saga. 

While I believe the political will is there I remain to be convinced that the Lord Advocate, the Police and SCRO are not more interested in damage limitation to themselves than justice to the individual. 

I hope I am wrong - time will tell. 

To Pat Wertheim, David Grieve, Allan Bayle, Ed German, Ron Cook and his associates, the 14 experts from Lothian and Borders Police and the hundreds of experts who have contributed to this fight, our heartfelt thanks. Without your integrity and expertise we would never have reached this point. 

I will keep the updates going and please continue to contribute. 

Thank you all, Iain McKie, Shirley and Family. 

Today's news coverage can be seen on

Update extra by Iain McKie
 Friday, 23 June 2000
Some useful sites for seeing comment on the HMCI's findings: (Click on 'Newsnight for the Nations' and then 'click here to watch Newsnight Scotland)

An interesting observation was made by Mr William Rae the Chief Constable who as the Chairman of the SCRO Executive Committee will lead the review team looking at SCRO. 

He stated that the Enquiry findings come down to a 'difference of opinion between the SCRO experts and the independent experts called in by the HMCI.' (He forgot to mention the many experts worldwide who have also 'had a difference of opinion' with SCRO) (See Newsnight Scotland web site referred to above)

So much for fingerprinting being a 'science'. 

While such a view will surely be ridiculed it is a disturbing insight into the mind and understanding of the Chief Constable who is now responsible for overseeing the workings of SCRO. 

Am I right to view such a statement with concern? 

I hope and pray that those responsible for standard setting worldwide in respect of fingerprint experts will continue to monitor the progress of this SCRO review and press for informed leadership at an independent level free from Police or political bias or interference. 

SCRO have been given three years to get things right. They have sadly failed at every level.  Now there appears to be the political will in Scotland for change and I call on the  International Fingerprint Community to ensure that change is carried through. 

SCRO should not in my opinion be allowed back into the international arena until they have demonstrated that lessons have been learned and remedies put in place. 


Click here to see the fingerprint images.