Essay on Forensic Sciences: The Science of Fingerprint Identification

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After giving much thought to the many areas covered by Forensics Sciences, the main criteria to which my choices were narrowed and ultimately the final decision of Ballistics and/or Fingerprint Analysis was based on by the complexity of the job, need for a keen eye, and my wanting to be challenged in a career. I have no doubt that there are other areas that would be just if not more challenging however interest is a another key element in the making such a life changing and difficult decision.
The history of firearm and tool-mark identification has been a long one having evolved with great bounds over the last 165 years from the simple observation, physical matching, and caliber determination from an examination of shape/size of a
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As the misuse of firearms in criminal cases increased during the 1960s, especially in the United States, the individuals involved in this field were recognized for both continuing the development of the science as well as public and legal acceptance of the science and in 1969 these efforts brought about an organization called the Association of Firearm and Tool-mark Examiners (AFTE). (Hamby, 1999)
In the last part of the 20th century (1970-1999) saw the greatest and most significant advances in the science of ballistics, due to the ability to fully utilize the vast potential of computers, this has also allowed science and specifically forensic science to develop several useful “tools” for use within firearms laboratories including the current Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) , which allows for the capturing of digital images of fired bullets which are analyzed to provide possible ‘hits” from the National Integrated Ballistics Identification System (NIBIS) for examination using a comparison microscope, this technology was unheard of just a few years ago. (Hamby, 1999)
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