Presentation on theme: "Pros & Cons of Testimonial Evidence"— Presentation transcript:
1 Pros & Cons of Testimonial Evidence Eyewitness BasicsPros & Cons of Testimonial EvidencePresentation developed by T. Trimpe 2006
2 What is testimonial evidence? The Bunny Effect CBS News Video Testimonial evidence includes oral or written statements given to police as well as testimony in court by people who witnessed an event.Eyewitness accounts can be a useful tool in helping investigators with analyzing a crime scene, but are not viewed to be highly reliable. In addition, eyewitness identifications (right or wrong) can have a big influence on the outcome of an investigation or trial.People are likely to view the same scene in different ways depending on their positions, line of sight, familiarity with the area, and other factors that can interfere with a person’s ability to remember details.The Bunny Effect CBS News Video
3 Memory Challenge Directions: You will have 30 seconds to view the next screen.Try to memorize all 20 items you see!You are NOT allowed to write anything downYou CANNOT talk to anyone else.
5 You have 2 minutes to list as many of the items as you can! What do you remember?You have 2 minutes to list as many of the items as you can!How did you do?All 20 – Awesome15-19 – Great10-14 – Pretty swell5-9 – Could be better4 or Less – Wake upTeacher Note: Try to influence the students’ memory of the items. As they are writing down the items they remember, suggest two or three items that were not shown, such as a banana (on the info slide), a nail (goes with hammer), or pen (instead of the pencil). As you go over the correct items, ask the students if they added any of the ones you told them to remember. Tie this into the discussion (next slide) on how a person’s memory can be affected by another person.
6 Did you know?According to The Innocence Project (2008) "Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing." Still, the criminal justice system profoundly relies on eyewitness identification and testimony for investigating and prosecuting crimes (Wells & Olson, 2003).What factors affect a person’s memory and their ability to identify a suspect?Source:
7 Witness FactorsAge may play a role in the accuracy of an eyewitness’ statement or identification of a suspect. Studies have shown that when a lineup contains the actual culprit, both young children and elderly perform well, but when the lineup does not contain the culprit there is a higher rate of mistaken identifications.The race of the witness may also play a role. The Cross Race Effect (CRE) is a phenomenon in which people are better at recognizing faces of their own race rather than those of other races.The use of drugs can alter a person’s ability to recall the events of a crime even after they are no longer under the influence.A person’s memory of an event can be influenced by other witnesses, investigators, and/or the media. Investigators use open-ended questioning and follow procedures for conducting line-ups to limit their influence on a witness’ memory of an event or identification of a suspect.Source:
8 Crime Scene & Suspect Factors A crime that is extremely traumatic for an eyewitness may affect his/her recall of the event. For example, a witness confronted with a weapon tends to focus on the weapon rather than the perpetrator’s face.Someone who is able to focus on a perpetrator's face for a minute or longer will tend to have a more accurate memory than someone who saw the person for only a few seconds.Studies have shown that faces that are either highly attractive, highly unattractive, or distinctive are more likely to be accurately recognized. Simple disguises, such as hats or sunglasses, can interfere with accurate eyewitness identification. However, body piercings and tattoos increases the likelihood of an accurate identification.The time of day in which the crime occurred as well as a person’s view of the scene may affect what a he/she is able to see.In addition, a person who is familiar with the area in which the crime took place, may have a better recall of the positions of the victims or suspects.Source:
9 Crime Scene ChallengeNow that your eyes and brain are warmed up, let’s test your observation skills a bit more.You will have 2 minutes to study the photograph of a crime scene on the next slide.Try to pay attention to details as you will be asked 10 questions about the crime scene!You are not allowed to write anything down until after the time is up.Ready?
11 Answer each question below. 1. What color coffee mug was in the picture? Blue Red Yellow2. When was the deadline? Yesterday Today Tomorrow3. What time was on the clock on the wall? : : :554. How many sticky notes were on the whiteboard? Four Six Eight5. Which of the following was NOT in the picture? Stapler Trash Can Printer6. What was the name on the plaque on the desk? Bill Brian Carl7. What color was the victim's shirt? Black Blue Red8. How many plants were in the picture? None One Two9. What was the color of the marker in the desk drawer? Red Blue Green10. Where was the book in the picture? On a box In the trash can Under the bodySource:
12 Facial CompositesInvestigators work with sketch artists and eyewitnesses to create facial composites, or sketches of a person’s face. Today many police departments are using facial reconstruction software to help them with this task.The composite may be used internally to assist officers in identifying the suspect or used externally through local media (radio, TV, and newspaper) to solicit leads from citizens.FACES – A software program that offers many options to help you recreate a person’s facial features.
13 You will have a chance to try to create a facial composite You will have a chance to try to create a facial composite. You will need to pay close attention to the following features:The shape of the faceThe shape of the jawThe shape of the eyesThe shape of the noseThe width of the neckThe shape & protrusion of the earsThe presence of facial piercingThe presence of facial hair, its color, & locationThe presence of facial markings, such as scars or tattoosForehead or other facial linesThe presence of eyeglasses or sunglassesThe length, color, & texture of the person’s hairLet's give it a try!
14 Crime Scene Processing ForensicsK. DavisCrime Scene Processing
15 Crime Scene Crime Labs “run” on physical evidence Physical Evidence = encompasses any and all objects that can establish that a crime has been committed or can provide a link between a crime and its victim or a crime and its perpetrator
16 Secure and Isolate Crime Scene Remember- to be effective, evidence must be:RecognizedCollected and processed properlyCollector must be selective using knowledge of crime lab techniques, capabilities and limitations
17 Secure and Isolate Crime Scene Crime labs do not solve crimesMany jurisdictions have specialized teams to conduct crime-scene searchesNot all crime scenes require retrieval of physical evidence
19 Evidence Teams All evidence must be documented in its original state. It is relatively common for one person to be responsible for two or more aspects of the search.
20 Evidence Teams Lead Investigator Photographer and Photographic Log RecorderSketch PreparerCrime Scene Search Recorder (Note-taker)Evidence Recorder CustodianEvidence Recovery PersonnelSpecialists
21 Lead Investigator the focal point of the crime scene investigation exerts positive control of the entire crime scene operationmust be able to control actions and access to the scene at all times to insure the investigative efforts are properly coordinated and that the scene is not compromised
22 Lead InvestigatorAssume control—insure safety of personnel and security at scene.Obtain all preliminary information from the initial responding officer(s) If necessary talk with the complainant to verify informationDetermine BoundariesEstablish perpetrator’s path of entry and exit
23 Lead InvestigatorConduct initial walk-through for purposes of making a preliminary survey, evaluating potential evidence and preparing a narrative description.Document & photograph obvious itemsBrief all team members relative to the scope and purpose of the search.
24 Lead InvestigatorDetermine search patterns and make appropriate assignments.Designate command post locationInsure that sufficient supplies and equipment are available for personnel.Control access to the scene and designate an individual to log everyone into the scene.Release the scene after a final survey and inventory of the evidence.
25 Photographer/ Photographic Log Recorder entire scene (unaltered) including adjacent areaswith overall, medium and close-up coverageusing measurement scale when appropriateeach item of evidence before it is moved to show position and location & close-ups to show detail
26 Photographer/ Photographic Log Recorder all latent fingerprints, and other impression evidence, before lifting and casting is accomplishedPrepare photographic log and photographic sketch.Photograph the scene as you left it.Videography with narration can be used to augment photography.
27 Sketch Preparer Diagram a Rough Sketch (at the scene) Rough Sketch – a draft representation of all essential information and measurements at a crime scene.
28 Sketch Preparer – Rough Sketch location of all objects & physical evidence related to the caselegend; coordinate evidence nomenclature with Evidence Recorder/ Custodian and Evidence Recovery Personnel.accurate depiction of the dimensions showing distance measurements of items using two fixed pointsa compass heading designating north
29 Sketch Preparer – Rough Sketch indicate adjacent buildings, rooms, furniture, etc., as neededDesignate and label areas to be searched and advise Team Leader and all other search members of nomenclature for designated areas.Obtain appropriate assistance for taking measurements and list assistant(s) on sketch.
30 Sketch Preparer Prepare a Final Sketch (not at the scene) Finished Sketch – A precise rendering of the crime scene, usually drawn to scale. (usually by professional draftsman)
31 Sketch Preparer -Finished Sketch Contains all the information from the rough sketch in a concise, perfected presentationOften prepared with aid of templates and drafting toolsOften completed using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) programs
34 Crime Scene Search Recorder Note-taking is a constant activity during the crime scene search.Should include detailed written description of sceneDetailed description of evidence (location of items, time discovered, by whom, how and by whom it was packaged, etc)
35 Crime Scene Search Recorder Notes often only written record of details to refresh one’s memory months or years later when at trialTape recording or narrating videotape can be advantageous, but still should be transcribed into a written document
36 Evidence Recorder/ Custodian Prepare evidence recovery logCoordinate evidence packaging and preservationCoordinate evidence nomenclature with Sketch Preparer and Evidence Recovery PersonnelReceive and record all evidenceMaintain chain of custody and control of evidence.
37 Evidence Recovery Personnel Have all evidence photographed and videotaped before it is collectedKeep Team Leader apprised of significant evidence locatedInitial and date all evidence and turn it over to the Evidence Recorder/ Custodian, after noting where the item was located.Insure that appropriate safety measures are adhered to, especially with respect to proper protective clothing, including gloves.
39 Conduct a Systematic Search PreparationApproach Crime SceneInitiate Preliminary SurveyEvaluate Physical Evidence PossibilitiesDocument Crime SceneConduct Systematic SearchRecord, Collect, & Process Physical EvidenceConduct Final SurveyRelease Crime Scene
40 PreparationEvaluate the current legal ramifications of crime scene searches. (e.g., search warrants)Fourth Amendment – prohibits unreasonable search and seizureWhen time and circumstances permit, obtain a search warrant before investigating and retrieving physical evidence at crime scene.
41 Preparation - Legal Considerations A warrantless search may be justified in the following situations:the existence of emergency circumstancesto prevent the immediate loss/destruction of evidencesearch of a person & property within the immediate control of the person provided it is made incident to a lawful arresta search made by consent of the parties involved
42 Preparation - Legal Considerations Mincey v. Arizona - the 1978 Supreme Court case that related to the impropriety of the warrantless collection of physical evidence at a homicide sceneMichigan v. Tyler - the U.S. Supreme Court decision which dealt with the impropriety of the warrantless collection of physical evidence at an arson scene
43 Preparation Accumulate packaging & collection materials Prepare paperwork neededDiscuss upcoming search with team (b-4 search)Make preliminary personnel assignmentsOrganize communicationOrganize a “command post”
44 Basic PremisesThe best search options are typically the most time consuming.You cannot over document the physical evidence.There is only one chance to perform the job properly.
45 International Association for Identification Safety Committee Guidelines Gloves & shoe coversLiquid repellent coveralls & particle mask/ respiratory, goggles, face shield (when indicated)Be alert to sharp objectsUse biohazard bagsNote taking done with uncontaminated glovesNo eating, drinking, smoking, etc. at crime sceneRemove contaminated clothing & safety garments immediately (dispose or package for cleaning appropriately) & decontaminate with 10% bleach or antimicrobial soap.
46 First officer(s) on scene should: If necessary render aid to the victim(s).Arrest perpetrator if presentPreserve and protect area as much as possibleExclude all unauthorized personnel from scenebegin recording who enters and leaves (entry log)Isolate area using ropes, tape, barricades, guards, etc.
47 Initiate a Preliminary Survey of Scene Cautious walk-through of the sceneAcquire preliminary photographs.Delineate extent of the search areaOrganize methods and procedures neededDetermine personnel and equipment needsIdentify & protect transient physical evidence.Develop a general theory of the crimeBrief team
48 Evaluate Physical Evidence Possibilities Based on type of crime, establish evidence types most likely to be encounteredInsure sufficient collection & packaging equipmentConcentrate on the most transient evidence firstFocus first on the easily accessible areasLook for evidence of “foul play” at the scene
49 Document the SceneDocumentation of a crime scene is extremely important. The Golden Rule Is; Do Not Touch, Move, Or Alter Any Evidentiary Item Until You Document The Scene.NotesPhotography/VideoSketches
50 Document the Scene - Notes Accurate & LegibleFacts, observations, and statements; not conclusions or evaluationsEach investigator should keep notesPurposeAssist with the preparation of your written reports.Refresh you memory during the investigation and at trial.All notes need to be preserved for court.
51 Notes Guidelines Use a bound type of notebook Write in ink Number the pages consecutively, in advance, to avoid any subsequent allegations about removing or destroying pages.Draw a single line through any errors you may make , initial and date the error, & make correctionsTry to make all entries in chronological order leaving with no blank spaces.It is a good practice to initial and date each page as you complete them.
52 Notes should include: Your assignment What you observed People on scene, contacted, interviewed, or arrestedEvidence found or recoveredThe conditions at the sceneMethods of narrative—written, audio, videoTime cleared
53 Document the Scene - Photography Excellent means of documenting detailShould be fair and accurate, and represent the crime scene exactly as you found itBegin ASAP — plan before taking shotsPhotography log – include conditions, date, time, frame number, subject matter, location, etc.Overall, medium and close-up views of the scene (Do not place numbers in these pictures.)
54 Document the Scene - Photography Use a recognized scale device & evidence # for size determination and identification (Be sure to take a picture without them in the scene as well.)Photograph/videotape evidence in place before its collection and packaging.Include areas adjacent to, the crime scene—points of entry, exits, windows, attics, etc.Photograph/videotape items, places, etc., to corroborate the statements of witnesses, victims, and suspects.
55 Document the Scene - Photography From eye-level, when feasible, to represent the normal view.Usually supplemented by diagrams/sketches.Create a photo diagram if necessary.Prior to lifting latent fingerprints, photographs should be taken 1:1, or using appropriate scale.Videotape can be used to supplement your narrative and photographs, and video can best be used in the overall shot or documentation of the scene.
56 Prepare a Diagram/Sketch of Scene Establishes a permanent record of items, conditions and distance/size relationshipsSupplement photographsRefresh your memory of the eventSignificant dimensions should be accurately recorded to show distance and should contain sufficient measurements and detail to be used as a model for a drawn-to-scale.Rough sketch - drawn at scene; changes may not be made once you have left the scene.Number designations on sketch should coordinate with the evidence log.
57 Prepare a Diagram/Sketch of Scene Select a sketch techniqueInsure that enough room is allowedAccurate and consistent measurements must be taken before the evidence is collected.Triangulate for exact distance.Use the lowest scale on the ruler/measuring tapeRecord measurements on a separate piece of paper, the key or legend, rather than on the rough sketch itself.Record administrative information, such as the scale disclaimer (not drawn to scale)
58 Sketch should include: Case numberExact locationDate and TimePerson preparing the sketch and all those who assisted.Compass orientation (North arrow)Key or legend containing:Evidence represented by numbers (DO NOT USE I & O)Fixed points and large objects represented by lettersMeasurementsDirection of stairwayDirection a door opens
59 Prepare a Diagram/Sketch of Scene Do not overcrowd the sketch with nonessential items or details.The rough sketch may also be required to be produced at the trial.Remember, you must complete the rough sketch and all necessary corrections before leaving the crime scene.
60 Conduct Systematic Search Thorough and systematicHow it is searched depends on type of crime, local and size of scene, # of collectors, etc.Collect massive objects to microscopic traces (all possible carriers of trace evidence)Portable vacuum cleaners helpful
62 Conduct Systematic Search Medical examiner may also provide evidence such as:Victim’s clothingFingernail scrapingsHead and public hairsBlood (for DNA typing)Vaginal, anal, and oral swabs (in sex crimes)Recovered bullets from bodyHand swabs from shooting victims
63 Search Patterns Strip or Lane Search Method used for covering large or open areasline up shoulder to shouldermove slowly along examining parallel strips of terrain
64 Search Patterns Grid Search Method variation of the strip search methodbest used outdoorssearch a strip along one axis, east to westthen come back and cover the same area on a north to south axis
65 Search Patterns Zone or Sector Search Method Point to Point area is divided into zones or sectorsEach person is assigned a sector to do a thorough search.Point to PointEven though this is not very systematic, it can be used in small confined areas.
66 Search Patterns Spiral or Circular Search used for outdoor scenes usually conducted by a single searcher who walks in a slightly decreasing, less-than-concentric circle from the outermost boundary towards the centerprocess should not be reversedcan be used for underwater searches.
67 Search Patterns Clockwise – Counter Clockwise – Inside involves two agents working togetherThe first agent would search in a clockwise direction searching the area from the waist up to the ceilingThe second agent would search counter clockwise waist down to floorOnce you have completed one pass, reverse roles and repeat the process.
68 Record & Collect Physical Evidence Each class of evidentiary items is handled differently.Remember that there is no set procedure applicable to every case, only general guidelines to be followed in most cases.Photograph or videotape all items before collection and enter notations in photographic or video log (remember—use scale when necessary).Mark evidence locations on the diagram/sketch.
69 Collect & Process Evidence Maintain evidence in original condition if possiblePrevent change which can arise from contamination, breakage, evaporation, accidental scratching or bending, or loss through improper or careless packagingEach different item or similar items collected at different locations must be placed in separate containers to prevent damage and/or contamination
70 Collect & Process Evidence One of the most important principles is that evidence of a fragile nature must be collected first as it can easily be destroyed by personnel, changing environmental or other conditions.Examples of fragile evidence include: Trace materials such as hairs and fibers, Various body fluids (DNA evidence), Latent friction ridge evidence, Volatile liquids, etc.
71 Collect & Process Evidence Each item of evidence collected should be marked for identification.place your initials, date, item number, and case number on the item, package, or tag as appropriateseal container and place your initials and date along the seal edges where they make contact with the packagingIf there is a possibility that you could destroy evidence, mark on the container you put the item in.If you are unsure of what type of packaging to use, and the item is not a liquid or very wet, place the item in a porous container.
72 Complete Evidence Log Have at least two persons: See evidence in place before collectionObserve it being recoveredMark the evidence (mark item itself whenever feasible)Count currency, or inventory valuables seized as evidence/contraband.Place identifying marks on evidence containers, e.g. date, time, case number, name of agent, etc.
73 Complete Evidence LogDo not handle evidence excessively after recovery.Seal all evidence containers at the crime scene.Do not guess on packaging requirements—different types of evidence can necessitate different containers.Do not forget entrance and exit areas at scene for potential evidence.
74 Complete Evidence LogBe sure to obtain appropriate “known” standards (e.g., fiber sample from carpet).Constantly check paperwork, packaging notations and other pertinent recordings of information for possible errors, which may cause confusion or problems at a later time.
75 Obtain ControlsExamination of evidence often requires comparison with known standard or controlStandard/reference sample (control): physical evidence whose origin is known, such as blood or hair from a suspect that can be compared to crime-scene evidence.Substrate control – uncontaminated surface material close to an area where physical evidence has been deposited. This sample is to be used to ensure that the surface upon which a sample has been deposited does not interfere with laboratory tests.Buccal Swab – swab of inner portion of cheek; cheek cells are usually collected to determine the DNA profile of an individual.
76 Obtain ControlsQuality and quantity of controls may help determine evidential value of crime-scene evidenceControls must be treated with equal care as actual evidence
77 Maintain Chain of Custody records the movement of the evidencethe “life history” of the item from the time that it was discovered until it is no longer neededessential to the admissibility of an item of evidence in judicial proceedingsAn item of evidence, whose custody cannot be firmly established from the time of discovery to court presentation, may not be admitted no matter how potentially informative it could be.
78 Maintain Chain of Custody Mark each item for identification (without compromising sample)Enter the item on the chain of custodyEnsure the item number is the same as entered on your evidence log, the item, and the sketch.Properly record the chain of custody information at every stage of evidence handling or transfer from one person to another & document the reason for transfer.
79 Maintain Chain of Custody Store the items in a secured vault or special room with limited access.Limit the number of personnel who are involved in the movement of the evidence.The longer the chain the more potential there will be for a weak link to exist.
80 Submit Evidence to Lab Can be by personal delivery or by mail shipment Method of transmittal is determined by:the distance the submitting agency must travel to the laboratorythe urgency of the caseMust be accompanied by evidence submission formsList of tests to be performed on each itemList of items submitted
81 Conduct a Final Survey Critical review of all aspects of the search Discuss search jointly with all personnel for completeness.Double-check documentation to detect inadvertent errors.Check to insure all evidence is accounted for before departing scene.Ensure all equipment used in the search is gathered.Make sure possible hiding places or difficult access areas have not been overlooked in detailed search.
82 Release Crime SceneRelease is accomplished only after completion of the final survey.At minimum documentation should be made of:Time and date of releaseTo whom releasedBy whom releasedEnsure that appropriate inventory has been provided, as necessary considering legal requirements, to person to whom scene is released.
83 Release Crime SceneOnce the scene has been formally released, re-entry may require an additional warrant.Evidence recovered during a re-entry may not have the integrity as that recovered during the original search.Only the person-in-charge should have the authority to release the scene.Consider the need to have certain specialties observe the scene before it is released (e.g., blood pattern analysis, ME).
84 The Trial of the Century O.J. Simpson was a NFL football legend.He is now famous for having been tried for the murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson & her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994.He was acquitted in criminal court after a lengthy, highly publicized trial.
85 What went wrong?Upon arrival, police found evidence of blood and entered the Simpson home without a search warrant (permissible - emergency situation).HOWEVER, the police collected a pair of blood-stained gloves during their search.Collection of evidence without proper warrants became the key argument used by Simpson’s legal team & ultimately led to his acquittal.
86 What was learned?If forensic evidence is to be admissible in court, the highest professional standards must be used at the crime scene!He was found liable for their deaths in civil court, but has yet to pay the $33.5 million judgment.Calif law…..pensions cannot be used to pay out a judgmentFlorida law assets cannot be seized to pay out a judgment