Dusting for Prints

Thousands of years ago the Chinese figured out that each person’s fingerprints were unique, yet it too until the late 19th century before the police put this knowledge to work catching criminals.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the first known crime case solved by fingerprint matching occurred in 1898 in India.

The first criminal case in the U.S. in which fingerprint evidence alone won conviction occurred this month in New York City in 1911.

In that case, burglary suspect Caesar Cella, alias Charles Crispi, was undone by prints identified by detective Joseph Faurot.

As of the year 2014, such prisons held well over 1.5 million people, with more than 196,000 in federal penitentiaries.

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