- Slides: 45
Forensic Science Original Powerpoint Adapted from Richard Saferstein Prentice Hall and Mrs. Partridge LHS
Definition fe-ren’ sik adj relating to, used in, or appropriate for courts of law or for public discussion or argumentation Latin forensis – public, of a forum forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws.
Criminalistics A body of knowledge concerning the recognition, collection, identification, individualization, and evaluation of physical evidence using the techniques of natural science in matters of legal significance.
What a forensic scientist DOES! She deals with life’s grimmest realities dispassionately while never losing sight of the feelings that keep her human
What a forensic scientist DOES A forensic scientist must be skilled in applying the principles and techniques of the physical and natural sciences to the analysis of the many types of evidence that may be recovered during a criminal investigation. p A forensic scientist may also provide expert court testimony. p
Is it “forensics”? The “science” of forensic science p Scientific method p Observing Problem p Researching problem – survey the scene p Hypothesizing – who committed the crime based on evidence p Testing – analyze the evidence to see if it implicates a suspect p If answer is wrong, start over Avoid forming conclusions too early in an investigation. You may miss/neglect evidence. p
Is it “forensics”? p Forensic Process R. I. I. R. § Recognition § Scene survey, documentation, collection & preservation § Identification § Comparison testing § Individualization § Evaluation, interpretation § Reconstruction § Reporting & presentation -
Scope of Forensic Science Criminalistics – the application of physical sciences to criminal investigation p Specialties p § § § § § Medicine Anthropology Odontology Entomology Legal Document analysis Ballistics Facial reconstruction others
History of Forensic Science p Many believe that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle popularized scientific crimedetection methods through his fictional character Sherlock Holmes
History of Forensic Science p p Holmes applied new, developing principles of serology, fingerprinting, firearm ID, and questioneddocument examination long before their value for first recognized and accepted by real criminal investigators Doyle’s first novel, A Study in Scarlet, has examples of his ability to describe scientific methods of detection, years before they were actually discovered and implemented
History of Forensic Science p p p Forensic Science has been around nearly 900 years First recorded application of medical knowledge to the solution of a crime was in 1248 1836 - James Marsh detected arsenic poisoning in connection with a criminal investigation 1839 - Mathieu Orfila, toxicology, perfected techniques to trace poisons 1879 - Alphonse Bertillon developed anthropometry, body measurements to distinguish individuals Late 1800’s - Alexandre Lacassagne, ballistics and bloodstain patterns
History of Forensic Science p 1892 – Francis Galton developed methodology of classifying and filing fingerprints 1901 Karl Landsteiner discovered blood typing p 1915 Leone Lattes devised a simple procedure for determining blood group p
History of Forensic Science 1910 Edmund Locard, exchange principle, 1 st forensic science journal (Locard’s Exchange Principle—states that when a criminal comes in contact with an object or person, a cross-transfer of evidence occurs) p 1924 August Vollmer, LAPD crime lab (oldest) p 1932 FBI laboratory, fingerprints p 1980’s DNA testing p p ()
Forensic Science in the USA Federal (FBI, DEA, secret service, ATF) p State (coroner, medical examiner) p Local (sheriffs, police) p Private (DNA labs) p p Stop/warn
Coroner vs. Medical Examiner Coroner – an elected official with death investigation duties p Medical Examiner – an appointed government official, always a physician and often a forensic pathologist, with duties of investigating sudden and unexpected deaths or deaths from injuries p
Basic Services Provided by Crime Laboratories Physical Science Unit (drugs, glass, paint, soil, explosives) p Biology Unit (DNA, hairs, fibers, plants) p Firearms Unit (ammunition) p Document Examination Unit (handwriting, authenticity) p Photography Unit (all photo; presentations for court) p
Optional Services Provided by Crime Laboratories p p p Toxicology Unit (drugs, poisons) Latent Fingerprint Unit Polygraph Unit Voiceprint Analysis Unit Evidence Collection Unit
Envelope containing anthrax spores sent to Senator Tom Daschle shortly after 9/11. A variety of forensic skills used to examine it:
Law and Science (see guided notes) The philosophical foundation of the criminal justice system remains to PROTECT the innocent and to ensure that the TRUTH EMERGES for any matter before the court, thereby ensuring that JUSTICE IS DONE
Bill of Rights p p The Bill of Rights was designed to expressly reserve certain powers to the citizens against the Federal Government The Bill of Rights was not always understood to apply to the rights of citizens when actions involved the state
Precedent Cases p p p Mapp v. Ohio, 1961: The 4 th Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches Robinson v. California, 1962: The 8 th Amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishment Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963: The 6 th Amendment provides the right to counsel
Application of the Bill of Rights p Amendments 1 through 14 apply to all states, saying: The Federal constitution provides the minimum protection. The state may provide greater protection but not less. ()
th 4 Amendment p p The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizures shall NOT be violated No Warrants shall be issued but upon probable cause, supported by an Oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized
th 4 p p Amendment The 4 th Amendment requires that a valid warrant be issued prior to any search A warrantless search is Presumptively Unreasonable!
th 4 p p Amendment A valid warrant is required for all unreasonable searches and seizures Required to obtain a warrant Probable cause p Oath or affirmation p Particular description area to be searched p What you’re searching for p
Evidentiary Information The probable cause clause requires that the police establish the trust worthiness of the information that they base their observations that a crime has been committed.
Two Types of Information Sources p Citizen or victim n n p Both are generally trustworthy No need to collaborate The informant n Credibility of informant is important because informants may also be involved in criminal activity themselves
Two Prong Test For An Informant p Reliability of information n p Established by identifying how, when, and where the informant received his information Credibility of the Informant n Established by identifying the informant, determining his self-interest, & identifying the past accuracy of the informant
Warrant Specificity The following must also be included on the warrant: Place - specific p Time p Items searching for p Neutral authority – judges permission p
Area of Protection Areas of reasonable expectation of privacy: p Car p Office p House Abandoned property does not require a search warrant.
Warrantless Entry p p p Consent Plain view Exigent circumstance n n n p p p Fire scene Belief that a person within is in need of immediate aid Cars parked in a public place Inventory of locked areas Caretaker Search incident to custodial arrest n Arrestee’s clothing $5, 040. 00 In Hidden Compartment
Chain of Custody Once the items have been seized and inventoried, chain of custody must be fully documented p Specifies: who seized it, and every subsequent individual who has custody or control of the item p
Packaging of Evidence p p p The CSI must make sure that the evidence is properly packaged according to the recommendations of the forensic laboratory When evidence is presented in court, it should be professionally packaged and presented It it’s necessary to repackage evidence, the original packaging must be included in or securely attached to the new package Not like this!
Team Work Forensic scientists work as members of a larger team, perhaps other specialized scientists, law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, juries and the media.
Law and Science p Lawyers have an OBLIGATION to conduct a spirited defense of the accused, especially if they are guilty
Law and Science p p In contrast, forensic science remains JUSTIFICATION based, reaching the truth, dependent upon evidence and data All scientists are required to uphold a high ethical standard, bound to combine scientific skills with a sworn duty to the public good
Law and Science From crime scene to conviction, a good forensic scientist will be teaching others, an ability that requires patience and the communication of complex principles in simple terms.
Law and Science Frye Standard (named after the 1923 case) Requires the court to determine whether the scientific theory and/or scientific method used to generate evidence are generally accepted as reliable in the scientific community
Law and Science 1. 2. 3. Frye test: Is the scientific theory generally accepted in the scientific community? (experts) Is the scientific method used generally accepted in the scientific community? (papers, books on the subject) Has the technique been applied correctly?
Law and Science Daubert v. Merrel Dow Pharmaceutical, Inc Trial judges must assume the ultimate responsibility for acting as a ‘gatekeeper’ in judging the admissibility and reliability of scientific evidence presented in their courts
Law and Science 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Daubert Ruling Guidelines Whether the scientific technique/theory can be (has been) tested Whether the technique/theory has been subject to peer review and publication The technique’s potential rate of error Existence & maintenance of standards controlling the techniques operation Whether the scientific theory /method has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community
An Expert’s Role By law, only a judge can declare someone an expert witness p Attorneys offer an expert witness to the court to give opinions within their expertise p Used to help clarify facts or educate the jury p
Court Advice For a Forensic Scientist “Whereof one can not speak, thereof one must remain silent. ” - Ludwig Wittgenstein