Thursday, February 10, 2011

Palm printing in the hands of the senate

Sen. Sander Rue
Embracing new crime fighting technology, Sen. Sander Rue, R-Rio Rancho is sponsoring a measure requested by law enforcement agencies to help them catch and arrest more criminals.

SB 102, which has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, requires anyone who is arrested to submit to having their palm print impression recorded in addition to being fingerprinted during jail booking.

“Everyone seems to be fascinated with Criminal Scene Investigations (CSI) that use the latest and greatest to solve crimes,” Sen. Rue said. “Let’s use more of it to solve crimes in New Mexico.”

The bill requires anyone arrested to have their palm print impressions taken in addition to being fingerprinted when they are booked into jail.

“By using the latest technology at crime scenes, a lot of good palm prints can be lifted while only partial fingerprints might be detected and might not be readable,” Senator Rue said. “This bill requires that palm prints are also taken at the time of booking an alleged criminal so they can be stored digitally and used to crack more crimes. Having digital palm prints on file increases the odds of tying a particular person to the crime scene.”

Since the digital palm prints would remain on file, along with the booking sheet, they can be used to match against latent or hidden prints left at crime scenes, thus giving investigators an increased chance of matching ‘latent’ against existing digital fingerprint/palm print files.

The legislation seeks to amends 29-3-8 NMSA 1978 to add palm printing to the fingerprinting process conducted by law enforcement agencies as a part of a booking subsequent to a felony arrest. The bill adds “palm print” or “palm printing” to every mention of fingerprint or fingerprinting in 29-3-8 NMSA 1978.

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) indicates that the requirement of palm printing in addition to fingerprinting in association with arrests is a trend throughout the country and simply requires that a palm print impression of each hand be added to the 10-print fingerprinting process.

Senator Rue said because DPS is now gathering and storing palm prints, DPS processes will not change. Many law enforcement agencies are already collecting palm prints so impact on law enforcement should be minimal since palm printing as an adjunct to fingerprinting takes very little time, and requires less expertise than fingerprinting.”

Source: Senate Leadership office

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