Innocence Project Seeking Information for Grant Application


The West Virginia Innocence Project is applying for a federal grant to investigate cases in West Virginia in which certain types of forensic evidence were used at trial. WVIP is interested particularly in “impression” or “pattern” forensics. Impression evidence is created when two objects come in contact with each other to create an "impression" on one or both of the objects. Pattern analysis evidence seeks to identify additional information found within an impression—such as shoeprints. Some examples of Impression and Pattern Evidence include:
  • Fingerprints
  • Bite Marks
  • Footwear Impressions (Shoeprints) 
  • Tool Marks (the marks left on bullets or casings that are supposedly “unique” to any given gun)
  • General Instrument Marks (the marks left at a crime scene by instruments or tools used in the crime, like divots left by a screwdriver when prying open a window)
  • Tire Prints (from a vehicle or bicycle)
  • Bloodstains
  • Handwriting or typewriting comparison
  • Other similar types of “impression” or “pattern” forensics not listed here

The WVIP is asking for your assistance to identify cases in West Virginia in which one of these types of forensics was used as evidence to obtain a conviction. Please respond if you have litigated a case, or know of a case, in which one of these forensic approaches was used.  Thank you sincerely for your assistance.

Send your information to

Contact Information

Valena Beety