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Introduction to Forensic Science & to the Law Chapter 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Forensic Science & to the Law Chapter 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Forensic Science & to the Law Chapter 1

2 Forensic Science It is the study and application of science to matters of law (criminal and civil) Includes the business of providing timely, accurate, and thorough information to all levels of decision makers in our criminal justice system Also called criminalistics

3 Criminalists vs Criminologists A criminalist examines physical evidence for legal purposes Criminologists study the crime scene for motive, traits, and behavior as to help interpret the evidence – They learn to think like criminals

4 Forensic Scientists Applies 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 May also provide expert court testimony – Known as an expert witness Individual whom the court determines possesses knowledge relevant to the trial

5 Developments in Forensic Science 700s AD- Chinese used fingerprints to establish identity of documents and clay sculptures ~1000- Roman courts determined that bloody palm prints were used to frame a man in his brothers murder King Richard of England introduced the idea of the coroner to investigate questionable death 1200s- A murder in China is solved when flies were attracted to invisible blood residue on a sword of a man in the community Fidelus was first to practice forensic medicine in Italy

6 Developments in Forensic Science Anton van Leeuwenhoek constructed the first high powered microscope Paul Revere identified the body of General Joseph Warren based on the false teeth he had made for him John Toms convicted of murder on basis of torn edge of wad of paper in pistol matching a piece of paper in his pocket Gustav Kirchoff and Robert Bunsen developed the science of spectroscopy Crime scene photography developed

7 Developments in Forensic Science Alphonse Bertillion developed a system to identify people using particular body measurements Edward Henry developed the first classification system for fingerprint identification Karl Landsteiner identified human blood groups Edmond Locard formulated his famous principle, Every contact leaves a trace Francis Aston developed the mass spectrometer

8 Developments in Forensic Science James Watson and Francis Crick discover the DNA double helix AFIS developed by FBI, fully automated in Jeffreys developed and used the first DNA tests to be applied to a criminal case

9 People of Historical Significance Mathieu Orfila- father of forensic toxicology Alphonse Bertillion- devised first scientific system of personal identification Francis Galton- conducted first definitive study of fingerprints and their classification Leone Lattes- developed a procedure to determine blood type from dried bloodstains Calvin Goddard- used a comparison microscope to determine if a particular gun fired a bullet

10 People of Historical Significance Albert Osborn- developed the fundamental principles of document examination Walter McCrone- utilized microscopy to examine evidence Hans Gross- wrote treatise on criminal investigation Edmond Locard- considered the father of criminalistics; responsible for Locards exchange principle – States that when a criminal comes in contact with an object or a person, a cross transfer of evidence occurs

11 The Crime Lab Characterized by rapid growth due to – Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s placing greater emphasis on scientifically evaluated evidence – Accelerated drug abuse – Initiation of DNA profiling 350 public crime labs exist at federal, state, county, and municipal levels

12 The Crime Lab History – First established in 1910 by Locard – First police crime lab established in 1923 in Los Angeles, CA – Scientific Crime Detection Lab established in 1929 – First FBI crime lab opened in 1932

13 Crime Lab Services 5 exist – Physical science – Biology – Firearms – Document – Photographic

14 Physical Science Unit Incorporates the principles of chemistry, physics, and geology to identify and compare physical evidence

15 Biology Unit Applies the knowledge of biological sciences in order to investigate blood samples, body fluids, hair, and fiber samples

16 Firearms Unit Investigates discharged bullets, cartridge cases, shotgun shells, and ammunition

17 Document Unit Provides the skills needed for handwriting analysis and other questioned document issues

18 Photographic Unit Applies specialized photographic techniques for recording and examining physical evidence

19 Other Crime Lab Services Toxicology Unit- examines body fluids and organs for the presence of drugs and poisons Latent Fingerprint Unit- processes and examines evidence for latent fingerprints Polygraph Unit- conducts polygraph or lie detector tests Voiceprint Analysis Unit- attempts to tie a recorded voice to a particular suspect Evidence Collection Unit- dispatches specially trained personnel to the crime scene to collect and preserve physical evidence

20 Other Forensic Science Services Forensic Pathology- concentrate closely on the understanding of types and causation of injuries and causes of sudden and unnatural death – Deals with the different stages of death Rigor mortis- stiffening of the body (occurs within first 24 hours) Livor mortis- settling of blood closest to the ground (occurs up to 12 hours) Algor mortis- results in loss of heat


22 Other Forensic Science Services Forensic Anthropology-concentrates on the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable Forensic Entomology- is the study of insects and their relation to a criminal investigation, commonly used to establish the time of death Forensic Psychiatry- work with courts in evaluating an individual's competency to stand trial, defenses based on mental diseases or defects (e.g., the "insanity" defense), and sentencing recommendations

23 Other Forensic Science Services Forensic Odontology- evaluates teeth to determine the identification of the deceased Forensic Engineering- investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not operate/function as intended, causing personal injury for example Cybertechnology- involves the examination of digital evidence

24 Major Crime Labs FBI- Federal Bureau of Investigations DEA- Drug Enforcement Agency ATF- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives US Postal Service US Fish and Wildlife Service

25 The Crime Scene Team A group of professional investigators, each trained in a variety of special disciplines Team members include – First police officer on the scene – Medics (if necessary) – Investigator(s) – Medical examiner – Photographer and/or Field Evidence Technician – Lab Experts

26 Laws that Pertain to the US Criminal Justice System The US Constitution Statutory Law Common Law or Case Law Civil Law Criminal Law Equity Law Administrative Law

27 US Constitution Supreme body of laws that governs our country Overrules the constitutions of individual states

28 Statutory Laws Are written laws as enacted by a government body such as Congress Are based on the Constitution

29 Common Law Also known as case law Are made by judges – Makes for predictability and consistency in how the law is applied

30 Civil Law Also known as private law Deals with relationships between individuals involving properties or contracts – Regulates noncriminal relationships between individuals, businesses, agency of government, and other organizations Includes contracts, marriages, divorces, wills, property transfers, negligence, and products manufactured with hidden hazards More concerned with assigning blame than intent

31 Criminal Law Also known as public law Deals with regulation and enforcement of rights Concerned with offenses against an individual that are deemed offensive to society – Cases tried are always the person vs the state Those laws that are broken fall into 1 of 2 main categories – Misdemeanor- is a minor crime such as theft, minor assault and battery, or possession of small amounts of illegal drugs – Felony- is a major crime such as murder, rape, armed robbery, serious assaults, dealing in illegal drugs, fraud, auto theft, or forgery

32 Equity Law Remedial or preventive law Are for cases not covered by common law – Restraining orders – Injunctions

33 Administrative Law Laws established by governmental agencies such as the IRS, Social Security Administration, or the military

34 The Bill of Rights The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty The right not to be searched unreasonably, either on ones person or in ones home The right not to be arrested without probable cause The right against unreasonable seizure of personal property The right against self-incrimination The right to fair questioning by police

35 The Bill of Rights The right to protection from physical harm throughout the justice process The right to an attorney The right to trial by jury The right to know any charges against oneself The right to cross examine prosecution witnesses The right to speak and present witnesses

36 The Bill of Rights The right not to be tried again for the same crime The right against cruel and unusual punishment The right to due process The right to a speedy trial The right against excessive bail The right against excessive fines The right to be treated the same as others, regardless of race, gender, religious preference, country of origin, and other personal attributes

37 Steps in Pursuing Justice If a crime is committed these are the steps to take while pursuing justice – Police investigate what happened – Information is collected – Crime scene is documented and searched for evidence – All info is assembled into a report and sent to DA – Investigation continues until probable cause is established – An arrest warrant is issued for the suspect – The suspect is arrested Individual is booked, fingerprinted, photographed and informed about his/her rights

38 The Miranda Rights Miranda v. Arizona (1966) – Before a law enforcement officer may question a suspect regarding the possible commission of a crime, he or she must inform the detainee about his or her Miranda rights, making sure the detainee understands them

39 The Miranda Rights Warning of Rights – You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions – Anything you do or say may be used against you in the court of law – You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have your attorney present during questioning now or in the future – If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish – If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney – Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?

40 Steps in Pursuing Justice – Person is brought before a magistrate judge who informs the individual of the charges, his/her rights, and bail The person may also enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, double jeopardy (been tried for same crime in same court), or nolo contendere (no contest) – If a plea of guilty is entered, the person is brought before a preliminary or evidentary hearing (no jury present) Most states use a grand jury – Will determine if there is enough evidence to bring the accused to a formal trial – The prosecutor presents evidence and the grand jury (16-23 citizens) decide the fate of the accused – If the grand jury decides there is enough evidence, a trial date will be set

41 Steps in Pursuing Justice – If a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity is entered, the defendant will have to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or wrongfulness of his acts Crimes must show intent- the insanity plea removes intent

42 Steps in Pursuing Justice – Sometimes, the DA will plea bargain with the accused The defendant works out a deal with the DA – May reduce jail time

43 Types of Crimes All crimes are violations (breach of a right, duty, or law) – 3 types Infractions Misdemeanors Felonies

44 Infractions Minor offense or petty crime Is less serious than a misdemeanor Examples include – Jaywalking – Traffic violations – Littering Penalty is usually a fine

45 Misdemeanors Cases are tried in court Punishable by no more than 1 year in jail Examples include – A first offense of drunk driving, vandalism, shoplifting, simple assaults, trespassing, or prostitutions Fines range from less than $250 to $2500 Community service is also part of the sentence sometimes

46 Felonies Cases are tried in court Punishable from 5 years to life – Some states offer death penalty Examples include – Arson, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, homicide, and rape Fines may be up to $100,000 Probation may also be determined

47 Federal Rules of Evidence Probative – In evidence law, tending to prove something Material – In evidence law, relevant and significant. Hearsay – Testimony given by a witness who relates not what he or she heard, saw, or knew personally, but what others have said – Is not admissable in the court of law

48 Admissibility of Evidence 1923 Frye v. US – Scientific evidence is allowed into the courtroom if it is generally accepted by the relevant scientific community. – The Frye standard does not offer any guidance on reliability. – The evidence is presented in the trial and the jury decides if it can be used Daubert v. Dow – Admissibility is determined by Whether the theory or technique can be tested Whether the science has been offered for peer review Whether the rate of error is acceptable Whether the method at issue enjoys widespread acceptance Whether the opinion is relevant to the issue – The judge decides if the evidence can be entered into the trial

49 Facets of Guilt Try to prove – Means- person had the ability to do the crime – Motive- person had a reason to do the crime Does not have to be proved in a court of law – Opportunity- person can be placed at the crime

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