Criminality and Economic Conditions [review-book]

Horace Secrist
1917 Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. 932 REVIEWS AND CRITICISMS 932 REVIEWS AND CRITICISMS Sommer was then given an opportunity of interviewing personally both J. T. and B. C. Not satisfied with only the data thus obtained he also secured an interview with the legitimate son of J. T. The result of this investigation led Sommer to conclude that a single morphological abnormality possessed in common is of no particular significance as evidence of kinship, unless presented in connection with a great deal of other information of the same sort. But the examination of the finger prints of J. T. and B. C. showed a striking resemblance in the papillary formations of three fingers in each of both pairs of hands. In other words, 3/5 of the finger print evidence pointed toward relationship, and2/5toward its absence. The question raised, however, is: What comparative evidence would be obtained from a similar examination of the finger prints obtained from an hereditarily related and from an hereditarily unrelated group of people. These data Sommer gathered (though fragmentary), with the result that greater similarity was observable in unrelated than in related cases. He therefore concluded that also this index of relationship was an unreliable one, though admitting that finger print characteristics may behave as Mendelian units, hybrids not necessarily showing any similarity to the parents. Omitting speculation of this kind, the existing facts led Sommer to conclude that the finger print evidence presented in the case was of no particular value in tracing the relationship between J. T. and B. C., if such existed. A comparison of head formation, eye color, hair color, etc., also led to negative results. On the basis of Sommer's evidence J. T. was set free. In the remaining portion of the article he gives statistics explaining that syndactylism is sex-linked, transmitted only through male members of a family, and promises another article, to appear soon, dealing with the inheritance of finger print characteristics. Buckel Foundation, Stanford University.
doi:10.2307/1133691 fatcat:jn7tw6y2vjd7zj7ddacacwcvtu