Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Identification and the Development of Forensic Science

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_378


Forensic science as a science and profession takes its roots in the industrial revolution and the Age of Enlightenment. Measurement, classification, and databases started on habitual criminals or recidivists, with criminal anthropometry introduced in Paris by Bertillon, but this was soon followed with fingerprinting or dactyloscopy. The scientific exploitation of traces as silent witnesses of crimes or clues to their understanding extended the capabilities of forensic science throughout the twentieth century. The story of identification sees a major development in 1985, with the advent of the analysis of DNA markers which allow current individualization, through their extreme diversity. Identity has always been a fuzzy notion. It is the need to identify criminals and recidivists that led to the concept of identity and individuality that currently influences the structure of large databases such as fingerprint or DNA, but also most measurements in biometry as well as...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading and References

  1. Bertillon A (1893) Identification anthropométrique; instructions signalétiques, 2nd expanded edition from the 1882 “Identification anthropométrique” 1ére edition. Imprimerie administrative, MelunGoogle Scholar
  2. Collectif (2009) Le théâtre du crime. Presses Polytechniques et Universitaires Romandes, LausanneGoogle Scholar
  3. Coutagne H, Florence A (1889) Les empreintes dans les expertises judiciaires. Archives d’anthropologie criminelle et des sciences pénales 4:25–56Google Scholar
  4. Dehousse F, Sifflet D (2006) Les nouvelles perspectives de la coopération de Schengen: le traité de Prüm. (New perspectives on Schengen cooperation: the treaty of Prüm.) Egmont European Affairs Publication, BruxellesGoogle Scholar
  5. Faulds H (1880) On the skin-furrows of the hand. Nature 22:605Google Scholar
  6. Florence A (1885) Les taches de sang, leur signification en médecine judiciaire. Doctoral Thesis, University of LyonGoogle Scholar
  7. Forgeot R (1891) Les empreintes en général. Doctoral thesis, Univesity of LyonGoogle Scholar
  8. Frécon A (1889) Des empreintes en général et de leur application dans la pratique de la médecine judiciaire. Doctoral thesis, Université de LyonGoogle Scholar
  9. Galton F (1892) Finger prints. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Gremaud J-L (2010) Processus de reconnaissance et d’identification de personnes décédées. Université de Lausanne, LausanneGoogle Scholar
  11. Groebner V (2007) Who are you? Identification, deception, and surveillance in early modern Europe. Zone Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Gross H (1893) Handbuch für Untersuchungsrichter als System der Kriminalistik. Leuschnen und Lubensky, GrazGoogle Scholar
  13. Henry ER (1900) Classification and uses of finger prints, 4th edn. Georges Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Herschel W (1880) Skin furrows of the hand. Nature 23:76Google Scholar
  15. Kirk PL (1963) The ontology of criminalistics. J Crim Law Criminol Police Sci 54:235–238Google Scholar
  16. Lombroso C (1887) L’homme criminel, 4ème édition italienne traduite edition. Félix Alcan, ParisGoogle Scholar
  17. National Academy of Sciences (2009) Strengthening forensic science in the United Sates: a path forward. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  18. Reiss AR (1911) Manuel de police scientifique (technique). I. Vols et homicides. Payot Alcan, LausanneGoogle Scholar
  19. Roux JA (1926) Actes du premier congrès de police judiciaire internationale. Marchal et Billard, G. Godde succ, ParisGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeInstitute of Forensic Science, University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland