The Thumbprint Case (Video)

The Thumbprint Case (Video)

Adam Farkas, a partner in the law practice of Farkas & Crowley of West Palm Beach, Florida, discusses a criminal defense case in which the defendant’s only relationship to a case was his thumbprint on a piece of duct tape used in the crime that didn’t positively prove his involvement.

Both attorneys, Adam Farkas and Jacqueline Crowley, have considerable experience and strong legal backgrounds. Together they serve their clients in both criminal defense and family law cases. As Jacqueline says, you are getting two lawyers for the price of one.


As you can imagine, most cases in criminal law, there’s two kinds of evidence. There’s testimonial evidence that comes from witnesses, and then there’s physical evidence that comes from DNA, fingerprints, photos, blood, things that are concrete. Physical evidence is much harder for a defense attorney to convince a jury of if there’s physical evidence tying a defendant to the scene.

We had a case where there was a home invasion robbery where it was four black males that were masked and hooded and gloved. They take the alleged victim in and put him in the trunk and tie him up. His mouth is covered with duct tape, and they take him somewhere. He doesn’t get hurt, but they take him in his car and drop him off somewhere. He couldn’t describe them because they were masked. He didn’t know who they were, so there was really nothing for the police to go on.

When the CSI ran all the stuff through their program, they found one thumbprint from my alleged client on the piece of duct tape that was around the alleged victim’s mouth. That was the only thing they had. They didn’t have anything else putting my client on scene. What I did was I practiced with the roll of duct tape that they said – like normal roll of duct tape. I kept practicing, so when I showed the jury how I could tear it off, actually, I could’ve been using that piece before. It was just still left on the duct tape later, and so when they maybe got the supplies or they got it out of someone’s garage or back of their car seat, my client may have just been using that duct tape before.

We were able to at least convince the jury that maybe his thumbprint was there before, and there’s nothing else tying him. After a long deliberation, they came back of my client not guilty, and he was free to go.

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