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Introduction to Forensics. It’s All About the Connections Physics Engineering Biology Mathematics Forensic Science Law Technology Chemistry Anatomy/ Physiology.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Forensics. It’s All About the Connections Physics Engineering Biology Mathematics Forensic Science Law Technology Chemistry Anatomy/ Physiology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Forensics

2 It’s All About the Connections Physics Engineering Biology Mathematics Forensic Science Law Technology Chemistry Anatomy/ Physiology

3 It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth. »John Locke ( )

4 Forensics Application of science to law

5 Branches of forensics Pathology Fingerprints Toxicology Entomology Anthropology Botany Odontology

6 Branches of Forensics Serology DNA electrophoresis Document examination Impression evidence –Tool marks –Tire prints –Shoe prints Computer analysis Arson

7 Branches of Forensics Profiling Environmental forensics Wildlife forensics Firearms/Ballistics Trace Evidence –Hair –Fibers –Soil –glass Engineering

8 Branches of Forensics Photography Polygraphs Audio specialists/Voiceprints Video analysis Psychiatry –Competence –State of mind –Profiling

9 Locard Exchange Principle When two objects come into contact, material is exchanged.

10 An expert is someone knowing more and more about less and less, eventually knowing everything about nothing. Attributed to Sir Bernard Spillsbury, MD

11 Expert witnesses Allowed to offer an opinion during testimony 1923 Frye Standard (general acceptance) 1993 Daubert Standard

12 Daubert vs Merrell Dow Morning sickness drug caused birth defects Plaintiffs had many experts Court ruled against the experts saying the methods were not generally accepted within the profession

13 Daubert standards Judge determines who is an expert: A) Has the expert’s scientific method been tested? B) Has the expert’s method been the subject of peer review and testing C) What is the actual or potential rate of error? D) Do other scientists generally accept the expert’s methods? E) Technique must follow standards.

14 Who runs forensic labs? Private Police Coroner/ medical examiner State University Secret Service FBI ATF

15 What keeps crime labs the busiest? 1.Drugs 2.DNA


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