Judge clears way for fingerprint evidence in McCluskey trial

Posted at: 08/22/2013 2:39 PM
Updated at: 08/22/2013 2:41 PM
By: SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- A federal judge has denied a motion by defense attorneys that sought to keep prosecutors from introducing fingerprint identification evidence and testimony in the capital murder trial of an Arizona fugitive.
The ruling came Thursday in the case of John McCluskey, who escaped from a medium-security prison in Arizona and is accused in the 2010 carjacking and murder of an Oklahoma couple.
McCluskey's lawyers argued any testimony based on fingerprint comparisons done by an automated system that relies on mathematical calculations would be unreliable.
U.S. District Judge Judith Herrera ruled that the motion was filed too late and the defense could point out the system's limitations during cross examination.
The legal wrangling related to the testimony of fingerprint expert Bonnie Knoll, who was called to the stand Thursday.

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