|Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 02:28 pm: ||
Yeah, cutting it into 19 pieces seems right, maybe even 20 depending on what I had for breakfast J.
Humor aside, ask the examiner why. I can think of a number of valid reasons for cutting the tape into so many pieces.
Maybe they wanted to do vacuum metal deposition exams but do not own one of those very expensive (some over $100,000) latent print vacuum metal deposition systems. They could have used the sputter coater their laboratory employs to prepare electron microscopy samples. Because such bell-jar type sputter coaters can only handle small samples, maybe the cutting was necessary. If they had already exhausted other latent print development processes and wanted to do a thorough job of harvesting all possible latent prints, cutting the tape into multiple pieces so it could be processed in a small sputter coater could make good sense.
Bottom line: ask the examiner who cut the tape.
Gary W. Jones
|Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 10:01 pm: ||
Unless the examiner is dealing with extremely lenghtly strips of tape, I don't know why he/she would want to cut it at all.
When I process tape that is wrapped around an object as you described, I attempt to remove it in one piece (or as few as possible) and place it on glass or clear,thick plastic. In that manner I can protect the adhesive side for later processing while I examine the non-adhesive side for latent prints. Usually, electrical tape wrapped in an overlapping manner is not extremely difficult to unwind, as opposed to duct tape, for instance.
If tape is cut prior to processing for latent prints, there is a risk of cutting through a latent print that might be subsequently developed. That is why I avoid cutting if at all possible.
The examiner who processed your tape might well have a reasonable explanation for cutting a 24 inch length of tape into 19 pieces, but I can't
think of one off hand. I would ask the examiner. Any true professional will be happy to explain why they examined a piece of evidence in a particular manner.
Also, as a side issue, if the 24 inch length of tape was placed around the piece in one continuous length, then when it is removed, it is one piece of evidence. When it is cut into 19 pieces, it becomes 19 pieces of evidence.
|Posted on Friday, January 31, 2003 - 04:21 pm: ||
Could somebody give me an idea on if you were going to fingerprint electrical tape how many pieces would you cut it into? I recently submitted a item to the lab to be fingerprinted. It was a piece of wood (about 2 inches in diameter) with the tape wrapped around it three times. The tape overlapped the next piece by about a quarter of an inch. When I got the item back it showed on the report that 19 pieces of tape were included. The subject involved has plead guilty so it doesn't really matter but does cutting the tape into 19 pieces seem right? The total length of the tape was 24 inches.