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An Excerpt from
"The Trial of Dante Garza"
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF MARY DUPERE
Q Please state your name.
A Mary Dupere.
Q With whom are you employed, ma'am?
A I am actually employed by the City of Rock Island Police Department but I also work part time for the City of Moline Police Department.
Q What is your official title?
A I am an identification technician.
Q And what do your duties entail?
A For the City of Rock Island, it encompasses a lot of different things. The main emphasis is fingerprint work. When items that are in evidence arrive at the station that require the examination of latent fingerprints, I'm the person who does that. One recovers the latent print off of an object by using various chemicals. If indeed a latent print is recovered, I am the one who also compares the latent print to the inked impression.
For the City of Moline, I specifically work mainly in the lab trying to develop or recover latent prints off of pieces of evidence. And if a latent print is recovered, then I compare that latent print to a known inked impression.
Q How long have you been an identification technician?
A I've been in identification technician for seven years.
Q What type of educational background do you have, ma'am?
A My education consists of a Bachelor's Degree from Northern
Q What if any training do you have in regard to fingerprint work?
A I've had the basic forty hour course from the FBI regarding latent prints, as well as forty hour advanced latent fingerprint work. I've also had training with State crime Scene technicians. I attend on a regular basis seminars and classes given either by the State of Illinois or by a forensic science organization.
Q And you attend those or do you give those?
A I attend those.
Q Is there any formal certification you receive?
A I am a crime scene analyst actually by the International Association for Identification.
Q Is that an organization you belong to?
A Yes, it is. I belong to the International Association for identification. That is the parent body which it does indeed as it's entitled cover an international organization. I also belong to the International Organization for Identification, Illinois Division. Each state in the United States has its own division. And in my own division, the Illinois division, I'm also the secretary/treasurer of that forensic science organization.
Q Tell the jury what is a latent fingerprint?
A If you look at your fingers, you will notice that you have ridges. Those are friction ridges. When you touch something, you may or may not leave an impression of those ridges behind. That's made possible because in those ridges you have pores. And in those pores you are secreting mainly perspiration; about 98.5 percent of it is perspiration. The remainder happens to be chemicals, amino-acids and salts, and other chemicals your body has. I'm sure you've all seen greasy fingerprints, too, if you have children. But grease is obtained from touching something else. Your hair and your face contain grease, cookies, chips. So you can leave a greasy fingerprint behind as well. But the grease is obtained from another object .
Q And what about an inked print.
A What it is usually done is that the finger is rolled in an outside substance. The substance we use, is a printer's ink because it dries quickly. You roll that finger in the printer's ink. Next you roll the inked finger on a white card. The ink then transfers that onto this fingerprint card. And again by using the rolling, you leave that impression of the ridges on the card.
Q How do you actually compare the fingerprints and how do you make an identification based on fingerprints?
A When a comparison is done, I compare the ridge detail of the latent print to the ridge detail of the inked impression. I'm iooking for are specific ridge detail. But I'm also looking for unit relationship and relative positioning. Unit relationship means the number of ridges which separate two specific ridges. Relative positioning means the position of one item of ridge detail in reference to a second item of ridge detail. If the inked impression of a finger, and the latent impression of a finger have similar ridge detail, unit relationship and relative positioning, then we have a match.
Q What is the importance of using fingerprints comparison as a means of identification.
A The ridge detail of each of your ten fingers is different. By use of ridge detail, unit relationship and relative position, I can match an unknown print to a known print.
Q Is it possible that two people have the same fingerprints?
Q Have you ever testified as a fingerprint expert in any other trials here in Rock Island County?
Q Can you tell us how many?
A Twenty-five or thirty, perhaps.
PROSECUTOR: At this point, Your Honor, I'd ask the Court recognize Ms. Dupere as an expert in identification of fingerprints.
THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen, when somebody testifies as an “expert” it simply means this: "experts" have a knowledge based upon education or on the job training which is probably beyond the kin of the average juror. And for that reason they can explain things to you that you might not otherwise understand. I will allow her to testify as an expert.
PROSECUTOR; Thank you, Judge.
THE COURT: You judge her testimony in court just the same way you judge the testimony of any other witness. And we'll give you an instruction on judging credibility at the end of the case.
Q Let me show you State's Exhibit No. 16. Do you recognize that item?
Q Can you tell the jury what that item is?
A This is a white card bearing a latent lift.
Q And have you seen that exhibit before?
Q Do you recall when you saw it?
A Yes. It was on September 2, 2006.
Q Do you recall where you got that print from?
A Yes. Detective Kozlowski gave it to me.
Q Thank you. Let me show State's Exhibit No. 19. Do you recognize that exhibit?
Q And what is that?
A This is a fingerprint card of the inked impressions of a Dante Fernando Garza, from the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department.
Q And did you have occasion to look at that exhibit also?
Q Did you have occasion to compare the latent print recovered by Detective Kozlowski with the rolled print made by Jailer Don Rush?
Q And what were the results your comparison?
A The latent print was identical to the inked impression of Dante
Garza's right index finger. The latent print was made by Dante Garza.
Q I have in my hand State's Exhibit No. 20. Do recognize what that item is?
A This is an enlarged chart that I made of the inked fingerprint on the fingerprint card, and the latent fingerprint.
Q At this time, Your Honor, I'd like to have Miss Dupere leave the jury box and use Exhibit 20 as a demonstrative piece of evidence.
THE COURT: You may do so.
"The Trial of Dante Garza"
This "play" is really more of a "Mock Trial" than a play. It is designed as a "civics lesson" to teach and illustrate the nature of a Criminal Jury Trial.
While away on vacation, Phyllis Conway receives a phone message from
her maid, Verla Zeal, that Ms. Conway’s condominium has been
burglarized. After an investigation, the police arrest Dante Garza.
The State of Illinois has now alleged that “Dante Garza knowingly, and without authority, committed the offense of Residential Burglary when he entered into the dwelling place of Phyllis Conway, with intent to commit therein a theft."
This is his jury trial. As the case unfolds, we meet the judge, the lawyers and the witnesses. We hear the judge as he advises the jurors of their duties. We hear the attorneys
make their opening remarks. We hear the witnesses testify. We hear the closing arguments of the attorneys. Finally we hear the judge’s instructions.
This is a case of circumstantial evidence. Nobody saw the defendant commit the crime. As the evidence unfolds, we meet the homeowner/victim, her maid, the investigating officer, a pawn shop owner, a jailer and a finger print expert.
Jury instructions and verdict forms are provided so a jury can deliberate the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
(While I have named the cast members, casting is flexible, and the names can be changed to make an all male or all female cast.)
A. Court Personnel
JUDGE JOHN DONALD O’SHEA The Judge
MR. DAVID McCARTHY Prosecutor
MS. EILEEN HOFFMAN Defense Counsel
CLERK The Clerk of Court
BAILIFF The Court Bailiff
B. The Witnesses
PHYLLIS CONWAY Home owner and victim
VERLA ZEAL Her maid
ROBERT VALSER Pawn Shop Owner
RONALD KOZLOWSKI Investigating Officer
DONALD RUSH Jail Booking Officer
MARY DUPERE Finger Print Expert
STEVE ROCKWAY A Police Officer
Don’s Other Plays
Free previews of all of Don’s plays are available at his web site: http://www.osheasplays.com/
Don’s plays with other publishers can also be previewed as well as purchased at their websites:
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Norman Maine Plays http://www.normanmaineplays.com/
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