Fingerprints Sole Evidence Acquittal Cases In Florida

In Leonard v. State (Fla. 1999) after a burglary and other crimes, the defendant's fingerprints were found on a candy bar wrapper in the victim's bedroom. Other candy bars of the same type were contained in a box in the victim's refrigerator. the defendant's girlfriend testified that she and the defendant had often shopped at the same supermarket used by the victim, and that the defendant would often pick up candy boxes, intending to purchase them for her children, but would sometimes have to return them if he did not have enough money. Although there was other evidence connecting appellant to the burglary, and his conviction was affirmed, the second district made it clear that the fingerprint evidence alone would have been insufficient for a conviction. Similarly, in Mutcherson v. State, 696 So. 2d 420 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997), the second district observed that a single fingerprint on a gumball machine which had been broken into, inside a store which had been burglarized, without more, would be insufficient to support a conviction. In that case, as in Leonard, there was other evidence sufficient to sustain the conviction.