By now most people are familiar with the plight of Brandon Mayfield, the Portland lawyer who was detained as a material witness in relation to the Madrid train bombings. Somewhat lost in the shuffle is the fact that his detention was based on a wrongly identified fingerprint by the FBI. Not only did the print not match Mayfield, it actually belonged to another person on the other side of the globe. In the recent litigation about the reliability of fingerprint identification, many courts have essentially given the government a pass on proving reliability (which has never been done) on the grounds that no one has yet proven fingerprint identification techniques unreliable. As the Abu Ghraib abuse is hopefully influencing the Supreme Court as it considers the detentions of US citizens in Cuba, I hope this incident will finally make courts force the government to prove the reliability of their evidence.