By Jonathan Finn
Initially of the 20th century, criminals, either alleged and convicted, have been typically photographed and fingerprinted-and those visible representations in their legal nature have been archived for attainable destiny use. at the start of the twenty-first century, a plethora of recent tools-biometrics, DNA research, electronic imagery, and desktop databases-similarly offer new methods for representing the criminal.Capturing the legal photo lines how the act of representing-and watching-is vital to trendy legislations enforcement. Jonathan Finn analyzes the advance of police images within the 19th century to foreground a critique of 3 identity practices which are primary to present police paintings: fingerprinting, DNA research, and surveillance courses and databases. He indicates those practices at paintings through interpreting particular police and border-security courses, together with a number of that have been validated through the U.S. executive after the terrorist assaults of September eleven, 2001. modern legislations enforcement practices, he argues, place the physique as anything that's in all probability criminal.As Finn unearths, the gathering and archiving of identity data-which consist this present day of even more than photos or fingerprints-reflect a reconceptualization of the physique itself. And as soon as archived, id facts should be interpreted and reinterpreted in line with hugely mutable and occasionally doubtful conceptions of crime and criminal activity.
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Extra info for Capturing the Criminal Image: From Mug Shot to Surveillance Society
A complete Bertillon identiﬁcation card for Lucy Schramm, showing the combination of full-face and proﬁle photographs on one side of the card with anthropometric measurements and physical description on the reverse. Courtesy of New York City Municipal Archives. and head. For this task, Bertillon devised a shorthand language describing the body in tremendous detail. The ﬁnal aspect of Bertillon’s signaletic system was the recording of one full-face and one proﬁle photograph. The resultant identiﬁcation card, or portrait parlé, was a comprehensive data sheet detailing the criminal subject.
26 The primary task of this group was to universalize identiﬁcation procedures. Allied with photography, ﬁngerprinting produced identiﬁcation information that was concise, compact, and readily transferable. The resultant 38 Photographing Fingerprints documents served the communications and records-keeping needs of law enforcement. 27 The potential use of these communication technologies for criminal identiﬁcation was immediately acknowledged. 28 Interestingly, it was not just law enforcement ofﬁcials but also communications industry representatives who lauded the beneﬁts of the new technique.
As nonwhite, non-Western, sexually deviant, and animalistic, his or her criminality was readily apparent on the skin. This new, visibly criminal body, and Lombroso’s reverse, biologizing method, is summarized in what Lombroso describes as a pivotal case in his work. After being called to perform an autopsy on the Italian criminal Vilella, Lombroso opens the skull and ﬁnds the problem of the nature of the criminal—an atavistic being who reproduces in his person the ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the inferior animals.
Capturing the Criminal Image: From Mug Shot to Surveillance Society by Jonathan Finn