|Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2000 - 09:03 pm: ||
- FINGERPRINTS -
1991 Armed Robbery of an armored truck by two subjects with a third subject awaiting in get-away vehicle; Gun fire exchanged; $20,000 stolen; get-away vehicle dumped in exchange for second vehicle;
Anonymous witness leaves two notes in first vehicle, each note identifying the color and tag number of the vehicles; second vehicle located and belongs to girlfriend of one of the suspects; first vehicle processed for latent prints; two latent fingerprints identified with Mitchell;
During the trial, defense sought exclusion of the anonymous note and other evidence; contended that the note was inadmissible hearsay and that its admission violated the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment; court overruled objections, note was admitted; Mitchell found guilty, 24 years imprisonment, 3 years supervised release, assessment of $150.00, restitution of $19,100.00
On appeal, the decision was reversed holding that admission of the anonymous note was erroneous; In determining whether the error was "harmless" or "reversible," the appeals court addressed the latent fingerprint identification in the context of the jury as "struggling with … testimony about fingerprints." Mitchell’s conviction reversed and remanded for a new trial.
In preparing for a new trial (1998), the defense presents last minute one page letter.
Offers expert witness James A. Starrs, Professor of Law and Forensic Science at George Washington University Law School
One page letter states:
"Professor Starrs is an expert in the field of fingerprint analysis and will testify to his opinion that there is no scientific basis for a claim of individuality in the matching of fingerprints, and that, as such, the identification made in this case is scientifically invalid."
The judge decided to hold a Daubert Hearing to establish the scientific basis for fingerprint identifications.
|Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2000 - 08:57 pm: ||
I am trying to reference the case US v Byron C. Mitchell for an assignment. Do you know what report it came from and what year ?
Thank you very much.