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Fingerprint Analysis and Ballistics Testing Essay

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Updated: May 13th, 2021


American criminal justice databases have developed enough for the executive authorities to have the opportunity to access virtually all the information necessary for the investigation of criminal cases. The legislative base envisages the use of the most modern technologies and tools, without which it is quite difficult to imagine the criminology of the United States.

The article will consider two American criminal justice databases that are used in serious criminal cases: fingerprint analysis and ballistics testing. Both of them have been significantly improved over the past several decades and have almost completely changed the legal landscape in the United States. Innovative methods used in these procedures have made it possible to achieve obvious progress with almost perfect results. The procedures of ballistics testing and fingerprint recognition have reached a new level, corresponding to the modern development of criminal science.

Fingerprint Analysis

Modern methods of recognizing the personalities of criminals have almost nothing in common with those used in the last century. The introduction of new technologies in forensics has allowed the American justice system to reach a completely different level; therefore, all police investigations are much more effective today than they used to be. The analysis of fingerprints has always been an integral procedure of any criminal case, whether it is car theft, robbery, or murder. Nevertheless, earlier criminologists used ordinary brushes and classic coloring compositions as the main components of their work. Today, the expansion of the base of special preparations and devices has allowed achieving an almost error-free identification of the obtained fingerprints.

Synthesis of Nanophosphorus

One of the techniques that American criminologists use today successfully is the synthesis of nano phosphors. The basis of this procedure is an eco-friendly green combustion process that accelerates the detection of fingerprints and makes this work as efficiently as possible (Darshan et al., 2016). The use of special chemical components makes it possible to forget about obsolete and long-term methods of recognizing individual structural parts of left traces. This high-tech procedure is widely used in the practice of American criminologists and can be justly considered one of the most modern techniques.

Touchless Fingerprint Recognition

Another method of fingerprint recognition, which, perhaps, a few decades ago would seem absolutely impossible, is a touchless recognition that allows determining the identification of a criminal with a high degree of safety and accuracy, has hygienic advantages and makes it possible to detect even the smallest traces (Wang, Jiang, Cao, Xing, & Zhang, 2016). High-precision laboratory research is an integral part of this technique.

The most modern algorithms and methods used in the process of such work allow specialists to avoid the usual order of studying evidence and open up significantly more opportunities for investigators. Besides, as Feng (2014) notes, another innovative 3D-recognition technique is an obvious breakthrough in criminology that simplifies the task of investigating for both the police and the judiciary.

Ballistics Testing

Another database, with the help of which all criminologists of America successfully investigate crimes related to firearms, is ballistics. The sphere of criminal ballistics has developed in the US for a long time, and now specialists have the opportunity to use technologies that have been worked out as a result of the long-term experience of their predecessors (Warlow, 2016). The purpose of this procedure is to study absolutely all the indicators and data obtained after a shot evaluation: the speed of the fired bullet, the trajectory of the shot, the distance, the force, etc. DiMaio (2015) states that the field of ballistic testing includes several areas: wound ballistics, the examination of firearms, the work with ammunition, and some more topics. Studying all of them is significantly necessary for this sphere to be developed and improved.

Forensic Ballistics by Spectroscopy

Because of the fact that the study of the characteristics of firearms also applies to the tasks of specialists in the field of forensic ballistics, a great deal of attention has recently been devoted to examining the special properties of the cartridges of certain weapons. That is why the emergence of the new method of work became a new step. Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy is a technique that allows criminologists to examine all traces of a shot left on a victim or on a suspect in detail (Vanini et al., 2015).

This procedure simplifies the task of forensic scientists to a certain extent; consequently, it becomes easier for the courts to make a fair verdict based on accurate data and reasonable analysis. This innovation significantly influenced the formation of the legal landscape of the United States and helped to speed up and simplify the entire investigation process.


Proceeding from the foregoing, it is possible to say that the procedures of ballistics testing and fingerprint analysis have developed enough for the US courts to work using the most modern methods and the latest techniques. The implementation of new methods of investigation allowed the US justice system to obtain additional sources of justification for certain decisions. Continuous development gives an opportunity not only to speed up a particular judicial process but also to ensure a fair and scientifically sound approach, which is especially important when it comes to controversial and resonant crimes.


Darshan, G. P., Premkumar, H. B., Nagabhushana, H., Sharma, S. C., Prashanth, S. C., & Prasad, B. D. (2016). Effective fingerprint recognition technique using doped yttrium aluminate nano phosphor material. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 464, 206-218.

DiMaio, V. J. M. (2015). Gunshot wounds: Practical aspects of firearms, ballistics, and forensic techniques (3rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Feng, L. (2014). A new generation of automated fingerprint recognition system. Web.

Vanini, G., Destefani, C. A., Merlo, B. B., Carneiro, M. T. W. D., Filgueiras, P. L., Poppi, R. J., & Romao, W. (2015). Forensic ballistics by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy: Quantification of gunshot residues and prediction of the number of shots using different firearms. Microchemical Journal, 118, 19-25.

Wang, K., Jiang, J., Cao, Y., Xing, X., & Zhang, R. (2016). Preprocessing algorithm research of touchless fingerprint feature extraction and matching. Communications in Computer and Information Science, 663, 436-450.

Warlow, T. (2016). Firearms, the law, and forensic ballistics (3rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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