Larry -Watson Week 4 Assignment The Science of Evidence 24 FEB 2020



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Computer Science


Feb 20, 2024





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Running Head: The Science of Evidence 1 The Science of Evidence Larry Watson CRJ 311 Forensics Professor Ginger Devine Date February 24, 2020
2 The Science of Evidence The evolution of forensic science, focusing on the types of scientific analysis conducted in crime laboratories. Forensic science has evolved over the past few decades, and more of the technology is being used in the court room throughout the world in so many aspects of the criminal justice system. The first documented autopsy was performed by the physician Antitaus on Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. (Martinez, 2012). As we progress into the twenty first century, we now have technologies that can reconstruct a crime scene for law enforcement and provide them with a more comprehensive insight of what allegedly occurred at the crime scene. Forensic science plays a major role in our society as a whole; the majority of law enforcement officers routine is highly dependent on the advancement of the forensic science technology. One type of scientific analysis that is conducted by crime laboratories to help assist the criminal investigator’s would be fingerprints that is found at the crime scene. Latent Prints that are linked to criminal investigations plays a major role linking someone to a specific crime scene. Latent Prints are normally collected from a crime scene by a latent fingerprint expert that is trained as a latent prints forensic science procedures to uncover and obtain fingerprints from objects using chemical and physical methods to collect the prints. “There are indications from archaeological excavations that the use of fingerprint and handprint patterns as methods of personal identification dates back thousands of years” (Berry & Stoney, 2001) . Fingerprint imageries can be photographed, and secured to be examined by a latent print examiner, and the fingerprints will be ran through the automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) computer system that stores all fingerprint images, that are used by the criminal justice system that maintains a database of all individuals who are arrested and those that are imprisoned. Throughout the world the importance of the forensic DNA is so crucial to matching the DNA
3 The Science of Evidence evidence that is found at the crime scene. All evidence is packed properly to prevent it from becoming destroyed and contaminated. Forensic scientists can specialize in bloodstain pattern interpretation, and those who do often belong to specific professional organizations, such as the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts, Gaensslen, R. E., & Larsen, K. (2019). Explain how the changes in science and evidence processing over the last century have affected the criminal justice system. Forensic science plays a major role in our society as a whole; the majority of law enforcement officers routine is highly dependent on the advancement of the forensic science technology. Forensic science has helped law enforcement collect and examine evidence at the crime scene and has aided in preventing further criminals from committing more crimes. “Investigators can now use DNA and other evidence collected and stored decades ago to help identify and convict criminals who have eluded authorities for years and to exonerate prisoners who were wrongly convicted before today’s more sophisticated methods became available” Durose, M. (2008). Our criminal justice system has gone through many stages over the past few decades that has improved on how evidence is processed. Crime laboratories across the United States and abroad scientists are provided with advanced technologies that can be used to help bring criminals to justice and also, help exonerate those that are wrongfully accused of committing a crime. The internet has been a force multiplier for scientists sharing information and working together with different agencies to help solve crimes with DNA evidence, latent fingerprint, tire impressions and, digital evidence that has helped solve many crimes throughout the world.
4 The Science of Evidence Four major types of scientific testing conducted by crime laboratories There are many different types of scientific testing that are conducted by crime laboratories. Four types of scientific testing that I will be addressing will be trace evidence, forensic biology/ DNA, latent fingerprints and explosive analysis. There are numerous prints that a crime scene investigator could find at a crime scene. Fingerprinting is one form of biometrics, a science which uses people’s physical or biological characteristics to identify them” Gaensslen, R. E., & Larsen, K. (2019). Let’s move on to forensic biology/ DNA testing conducted by crime laboratories. “One of the oldest forms of biological forensic analysis is in the identification of body fluids such as blood, saliva, and semen left behind at a crime scene provides an overview of the most common established forensic tests used to detect and identify biological material. A more thorough overview of the mechanisms of standard body fluid detection and identification methods is available in the review from” Morrison, J., Watts, G., Hobbs, G., & Dawnay, N. (2018). DNA profiling has been used in numerous criminal high-profile cases, such as Jodie Arias bloody handprint and footprints linked her to the crime scene and the use of the DNA/ handprint and footprint that was left at the crime scene. Trace evidence testing consist of hair and fibers, latex gloves, and face masks that is collected at the crime scene, can be analyzed by a DNA examiner to capture any DNA evidence that was submitted into evidence. “Currently, evidentiary items that have been previously screened for trace evidence are swabbed to collect DNA from skin cells or cells present in saliva or sweat along friction ridges (i.e., collars and cuffs) or other surfaces where cells may be deposited i.e., mouth and nose areas of a ski mask” Budowle, B., Baechtel, F. S., Comey (1995). Lastly explosion and combustible testing that is conducted at crime laboratories. Explosion crime scene is extremely different from a typical
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