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             A fingerprint is the friction ridges on the hands, which facilitate gripping an object and the sense of touch.
             2. It is an impression of the friction ridges on the skin of the fingers. .
             B. Three types of fingerprints.
             1. The three categories of fingerprints are latent, patent, and impressed.
             2. The most important type of fingerprint in criminal investigation is the latent print.
             C. Thesis.
             Though fingerprinting hasn't always been the method to identify criminals, it has quickly became one of the most important aspects of criminal investigation. .
             II. History of the Fingerprint Science.
             A. Pre-Fingerprint Discovery (www.onin.com).
             1. In the earlier civilizations, such techniques as maiming and branding were used to identify the criminals in the society. .
             a. An example of the maiming method would be to remove the hand that committed thievery from the suspect. .
             b. An example of branding would be to burn a scar into the convicted skin so everyone would know. .
             2. The Bertillon System was the first method used to measure and record the dimensions of certain bony body parts to identify criminals.
             a. This technique was named after its inventor, Alphonse Bertillon, in 1870.
             b. The idea of the system was that the measurements taken would be reduced to a formula. The formula would only apply to one person, and it would never change in their lifetime. .
             c. The Bertillon System remained in use for 30 years, until the infamous West case (1903), caused a problem with its reliability. .
             d. When Will West was being measured and incarcerated; they realized someone in prison already had nearly the exact same formula. .
             e. This proved that the Bertillon System would not suffice as a accurate method of criminal identification.
             B. Post-Fingerprint Discovery (www.onin.com).
             1. 1823 - John Evangelist Purkinji.
             a. A professor who published his thesis that discussed nine fingerprint patterns.
             b. Unfortunately, he made no mention of there use for personal identification.

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