"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Sep 4, 2006

Scottish Fingerprint Service changes

The Shirley Mckie case continues to have an impact on the Scottish Criminal justice system.

Radical reforms of the Scottish Fingerprint Service are expected to be unveiled shortly. The changes will aim at restoring public confidence in the service following the debacle of the Shirley McKie case.

Changes are anticipated to include abandoning the traditional numeric system, in which 16 points of agreement are required to match fingerprints. The non-numeric system is already used in England. This approach means that a forensic fingerprint scientist must take into account all aspects of a mark in deciding if there is a match and they will need to fully explain their conclusion to courts.

Shirley McKie, a former Strathclyde Police detective, was paid £750,000 in compensation earlier this year having been cleared of leaving a print at a murder scene in 1997.

Other changes are likely to target working practices and the culture within the service. The changes are being introduced before the parliamentary inquiry into the service reports and the suspicion must be that there is anxiety about the extent of criticism which the inquiry will make regarding the fingerprint service.

Forensic scientist and fingerprint expert Allan Bayle has previously described Scotland's fingerprinting agency as a worldwide embarrassment.

There is extensive information on the Shirley McKie case in previous posts on this blog and you can see Shirley McKie's own support site here.

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