Education & Training

Capital Litigation Initiative: Crime Scene to Courtroom Forensics Training

Webinar 14: Latent Fingerprint Essentials

Latent Fingerprint Essentials
Monday September 16, 2019
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.


In Latent Fingerprint Essentials, co-author of the recent AAAS Latent Fingerprint Examination Report Dr. William C. Thompson will present Latent Fingerprint Essentials: The AAAS Report and the Future of Latent Fingerprint Evidence, focusing on:

  • An overview of fingerprint analysis.
  • The AAAS Latent Fingerprint Examination Reportís findings.
  • Current issues and challenges facing latent fingerprint evidence.
  • Preparing for expert witness testimony, and
  • Qualifications and credentials of scientific experts.


Dr. William C. Thompson received his Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he studies cognitive and contextual factors that affect the production and communication of forensic science evidence. His research is supported by NIST through the Center for Statistical Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE). He is a member of the Forensic Science Standards Board of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) and chairs the OSAC Human Factors Committee. He recently chaired the expert panel that prepared a report for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Latent Fingerprint Examination. Although primarily an academic, he has (as a lawyer) represented parties in both criminal and civil matters involving scientific and statistical evidence. He is currently serving as Special Master for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota (to advise the court on the scientific reliability of DNA analytic methods).


Course materials:

View the webinar recording.

This webinar is designed for both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Attendees who complete this webinar will be eligible for Continuing Legal Education credits. The Stetson Office of Professional Education will work with each individual participant for reporting specifics. CLE applications will be made to Florida and other states per individual requests. Please email ope@law.stetson.edu for further information and state specific requests.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-CP-BX-K006 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.