ACE-V Method

The ACE-V stands for Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, and Verification.

The ACE-V method is a scientific approach for forensic identification that determines whether two prints are identical and came from the same source.

It is one of the most widely used method of fingerprint examination on a global scale.

The term ACE-V was coined in 1959 by Roy Huber, an Assistant Commissioner with the Royal Mounted Canadian Police (RCMP), and was originally known as the Law of ACE. The ACE methodology was another name for the Law of ACE. He created this method as a method for comparing two things, regardless of subject matter, and determining whether the two items have a correlating relationship.

In 1979, David Ashbaugh added verification to the ACE methodology. This modification changed the name from ACE to ACE-V, which is now more commonly used. ACE-V, according to him, it is a more scientific method than ACE because it retests the hypothesis by conducting a verification process for each comparison.

The analysis method described the systemic approach that analysts used when making a decision on a pair of fingerprints. All experts described the four stages of analysis, comparison, evaluation, and validation (ACE-V). The ACE-V examination procedure consists of the following steps:

1. Analysis: The examiner evaluates the unknown print to see if it is suitable for comparison.

2. Comparison: The investigator examines the fingerprints’ characteristics and looks for similarities between the discovered and known latent prints.

3. Evaluation: This section provides the reader with the knowledge to make a conclusion as to whether or not the two fingerprints compared came from the same source and therefore, share a correlating relationship.

For the examiner, there are only four possible outcomes:

The latent print is

1. identified or personalised

2. not identified or ruled out

3. unresolved

4. validated

4. Verification: If an identification is made, the result must be peer reviewed by another qualified fingerprint examiner. This ensures that the objective scientific method is used correctly and confirms the results of the first examiner.

There are two kinds of verification:

  1. Blind and,
  2. Non-blind.

Blind verification occurs when a second examiner uses the ACE examination process to complete a comparison with no knowledge of the original examiner’s conclusions.

Non-blind verification occurs when a second examiner double-checks and completes the ACE examination process while knowing the original examiner’s conclusions.

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