The Pennsylvania Superior Court has rule In the Interest of D.Y., 2010 Pa. Super. 222 (Dec. 3, 2010) that fingerprint testimony based on hearsay evidence was inadmissible. In D.Y., the only evidence linking the defendant to a burglary and related charges was testimony of a fingerprint card taken at some point before the crime, which bore the defendant’s name. The government failed to establish that the methodology linking the fingerprints on the card to the defendant, as it did not introduce testimony of the person who actually conducted the fingerprinting to testify that the prints were the defendant’s. This case is a good example of why criminal lawyers have to pay careful attention to how the government attempts to introduce evidence of fingerprint samples taken in the past.
If you enjoyed this criminal law update, check out this article on another interesting case involving criminal law evidence.
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