Suggested Questions for Officer/Agent Who Lifted Fingerprints: 

1.  Please state your name. 

2.  Where are you employed and what is your position there? 

3.  How long have you worked with (name agency)? 

4.  What are your job responsibilities? 

5.  What training, both practical and formal, have you had in lifting latent fingerprints? (Because palmprint evidence is subject to the same rules as fingerprints, similar questions may be used.) 

6.  How many latent prints would you say that you have lifted over the past years as (name position)? 

7.  What does it mean to process an item for latent prints and how is that done? 

8.  Did you process (item processed) on (date) for latent prints? 

9.  What did you do? 

10.  Did you lift any latent prints from (item processed)? 

11.  From what area of the (item processed) did you lift the prints? 

12.  What type of surface was it? 

13.  I show you what has been marked as State’s Exhibit number ___ (latent prints) and ask if you recognize it? 

14.  What is it? 

15.  How are you able to identify it? 

16.  Does your handwriting appear on it? 

17.  When did you write on it? 

18.  What did you do with these latent prints after they were lifted? 

19.  I show you what has been marked as State’s Exhibit number ___ (defendant’s fingerprint card) and ask if you recognize it? 

20.  What is it? 

21.  What, if anything did you do with State’s Exhibit number ___ (defendant’s fingerprint card)? 

22.  On what date did you do that? 

Suggested Questions for Fingerprint Identification/Comparison Expert: 

1.  Please state your name. 

2.  Where are you employed and what is your position there? 

3.  How long have you worked with (name of agency)? 

4.  What are your job responsibilities? 

5.  What training, if any, have you had in fingerprint and latent print comparison and identification? (Because palmprint evidence is subject to same rules as fingerprints, similar questions may be used.) 

6.  Have you continued your training and study to keep up-to-date on new techniques in this area? 

7.  What is a latent print? 

8.  What is an inked print or known fingerprint impression? 

9.  Have you identified people by comparing latent fingerprints with their own inked fingerprints? 

10.  Approximately how many times? Approximately how many latent fingerprints would you say that you have compared and identified with known inked prints or impressions? 

11.  [Check with expert before trial.] Have you previously testified in court as an expert concerning the identification of people based on fingerprint comparison? 

12.  How many times, and in what courts? 

Tender witness to the court as an expert in fingerprint identification. 

13.  Are there distinguishing characteristics of a fingerprint? 

14.  What are they? 

15.  How is it possible for a person to leave fingerprints? 

16.  Is it possible for a person to touch a surface and not leave a fingerprint? 

17.  Why? 

18.  How are latent prints compared with known inked prints? 

19.  How is it possible to use fingerprints to identify an individual? 

20.  Is the use of fingerprints to identify individuals generally accepted as a scientifically reliable method of identification? 

21.  Based upon your training and study and your years of experience in fingerprint analysis, have you ever known two people to have the same fingerprints? 

Mark as consecutive state’s exhibits any latent prints and inked impression of defendant’s prints. 

22.  I show you what has been marked as State’s Exhibit number ___ (latent prints) and ask you if you can identify it? 

23.  How are you able to identify it? 

24.  When and from whom did you receive State’s Exhibit number ___ (latent prints)? 

25.  I show you what has been marked as State’s Exhibit number ___ (inked impression of defendant’s fingerprints) and ask if you recognize it? 

26.  What is it? 

27.  How are you able to identify it? 

28.  When and from whom did you receive it? 

[Note: The print card will typically be admissible as a business record under Rule 803(6). If the defense objects that the fingerprint card is prejudicial because it informs the jury that the defendant had a prior arrest, the card may be redacted to remove any references to the prior offense, and the witness may describe it in general terms such as “fingerprints that were collected from the defendant as part of our regular procedures in an unrelated matter.”]  

29.  Did you examine the latent prints, Exhibit number ___, and compare them with the defendant’s inked prints, State’s Exhibit number ___? 

[Note: Charts of enlargements of latent and inked fingerprints are not routinely prepared by the analyst in every case. If fingerprint evidence is crucial to your case and the offense is serious, request that the expert prepare enlargements and use them while testifying in court. Question 29 is appropriate only when charted enlargements are used.]  

30.  Using the charted enlargement, can you illustrate how you conducted your comparison? 

Ask the court to permit the expert witness to refer to the exhibits while testifying in order to illustrate or help explain his or her testimony to the jury. 

31.  As a result of your examination and comparison of the latent prints with the known inked prints of the defendant, and based on the identifiable/individual characteristics between the latent prints and defendant’s inked prints, did you reach a conclusion about the identity of the latent print? 

32.  Based upon your experience and training in the field of fingerprint identification, do you have an opinion whether the defendant made the latent print as shown in State’s Exhibit number ____? 

33.  What is your opinion? 

Move to introduce all exhibits into evidence.