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Intro to Forensics


Intro to Forensics Forensic Science The application of science to those criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police in a criminal justice system. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Intro to Forensics

Intro to Forensics
Forensic Science
  • The application of science to those criminal and
    civil laws that are enforced by police in a
    criminal justice system.
  • Also called criminalistics

Forensic Scientist
  • Analysis of evidence found at the crime scene
  • Expert witness in court
  • Performs scientific research
  • Trains others in the field

Crime LabBasic Services
  • Physical Science Unit
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geology
  • Biology Unit
  • Firearms Unit
  • Document Examination Unit
  • Photography Unit

Crime LabOptional Services
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Forensic Odontology
  • Forensic Engineering
  • Cybertechnology
  • Toxicology Unit
  • Latent Fingerprint Unit
  • Polygraph Unit
  • Voiceprint Analysis Unit
  • Evidence Collection Unit
  • Forensic Pathology

Major Crime Labs
  • FBI
  • DEA
  • ATF
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • There are also state and local crime labs

History Of F.S.
  • 200 BC Archimedes uses gold's density to
    determine if a crown is made of pure gold
  • 1149 King Richard creates the job of coroner
  • 1514 Blood spatter used as evidence
  • 1598 Fortunatus Fidelus 1st to practice forensic

  • 1776 Paul Revere identified Gen. Warrens body by
    his false teeth
  • 1835 Scotland Yard uses bullet comparisons to
    catch a murderer
  • 1840 Forensic Toxicology is 1st used to convict
    Marie Lafarge
  • 1902 1st person to be convicted solely on
  • 1910 The first crime lab created in Lyon, France

  • 1921 1st lie detector is built
  • 1932 FBI crime lab created
  • 1954 Borkenstien creates the breathalyzer
  • 1955 Murder trial of Dr. Sam Sheppard
  • 1979 Bite marks are key evidence in convicting
    Ted Bundy
  • 1987 DNA profiling used to identify Colin

Edmond Locard
  • Believed that a criminal could be connected to a
    crime by trace evidence collected at the scene.
  • Whenever 2 objects come in contact, there is
    always a transfer of material.

Crime Scene Team
  • A group of professional investigators, each
    trained in a variety of special disciplines.
  • Team Members
  • First Police Officer on the scene
  • Medics (if necessary)
  • Investigator(s)
  • Medical Examiner or Representative (if necessary)
  • Photographer and/or Field Evidence Technician
  • Lab Experts
  • pathologist serologist
  • DNA expert toxicologist
  • forensic odontologist forensic anthropologist
  • forensic psychologist forensic entomologist
  • firearm examiner bomb and arson expert
  • document and handwriting fingerprint expert

Scientific Method and the crime scene
  1. Observe a problem or questioned evidence and
    collect objective data.
  2. Consider a hypothesis or possible solution.
  3. Examine, test, and then analyze the evidence.
  4. Determine the significance of the evidence.
  5. Formulate a theory based on evaluation of the
    significance of the evidence

Types of Law
  • Statutory Law
  • Common or Case Law
  • Civil Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Equity Law
  • Administrative Law

Miranda Rights
  • The following is a minimal Miranda warning
  • You have the right to remain silent. Anything you
    say can and will be used against you in a court
    of law. You have the right to speak to an
    attorney, and to have an attorney present during
    any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer,
    one will be provided for you at the governments

Steps Of Justice System
  • Crime Committed and discovered
  • Suspect may be identified
  • Police investigate
  • Information collected
  • Crime scene is processed
  • Evidence collected
  • A report is given to the prosecutor

  • If there is enough evidence to establish probable
    cause, an arrest warrant is issued
  • Suspect is Booked and informed of Miranda rights
  • Suspect is Arraigned

  • Preliminary/evidentiary hearing or a Grand Jury
  • Suspect indicted
  • Trial date is set
  • Plea bargaining may occur
  • Suspect proven innocent or guilty
  • Sentencing occurs

Types of Crimes
  • Violations
  • Infractions
  • Misdemeanors
  • Felonies

Frye Standard
  • Dictates that scientific evidence is admissible
    at trial only if the methodology is generally
    accepted in the particular field of study.
  • 1st ruling on how to allow new types of
    scientific evidence at trial

Daubert Ruling
  • Updated revision of the Frye Standard for the
    admissibility of science evidence
  • The scientific theory or technique must be
    testable using scientific method, estimate error
    rates, been peer-reviewed, and have general

Facets of Guilt
  • Try to prove
  • Meansperson had the ability to do the
  • Motiveperson had a reason to do the crime
    (not necessary to prove in a court of law)
  • Opportunityperson can be placed at the