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Introduction to Forensic Science

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Chapter 1 Introduction to Forensic Science Livor Mortis Blood settles to areas closest to ground Skin turns a blue/purple color Algor Mortis Body starts to lose heat ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Forensic Science


1
Chapter 1
  • Introduction to Forensic Science

2
Forensic Science
  • Application of science to law
  • Begins at crime scene
  • Also known as Criminalistics

3
History of Forensics
4
Alphonse Bertillon
  • Father of Criminal Identification
  • Developed ANTHROPOMETRY

5
Anthropometry
  • Series of body measurements to distinguish
    between individuals

6
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7
Francis Galton
  • Studied fingerprints how to classify them

8
Calvin Goddard
  • Firearms examiner
  • Studied bullet comparison
  • (Done today with a comparison microscope)

9
Edmond Locard
  • Started the 1st crime lab (France)
  • Developed the Exchange Principle

10
Locards Exchange Principle
  • When 2 objects come into contact, there is an
    exchange of materials between them
  • (Cross-transfer of evidence)
  • Criminals can be connected to a crime by
    particles carried from the crime scene

11
Crime Laboratories
  • A. National
  • B. State
  • C. Local

12
National Labs (4)
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI ?
    largest lab in the world)
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  3. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms,
    Explosives (ATF)
  4. U.S. Postal Inspection Service

13
State Labs
  • Service the state as well as
  • local communities that cannot
  • afford their own crime lab

14
Local Labs
  • Service counties municipal (cities) agencies
  • Financed by local government
  • Nassau Suffolk County Crime Labs

15
Basic Crime Lab Services
  1. Physical Science Unit
  2. Biology Unit
  3. Firearms Unit
  4. Document Examination Unit
  5. Photography Unit

16
Physical Science Unit
  • Uses chemistry, physics, and geology to identify
    compare evidence

17
Biology Unit
  • Examines blood other body fluids
  • DNA profiles
  • Compares hair fibers
  • Examines botanical materials (plants/wood)

18
Firearms Unit (Ballistics)
  • Examines firearms, discharged bullets, cartridge
    cases, shotgun shells
  • Searches clothing for gunpowder residue
  • Determines distance a weapon was fired from

19
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20
Document Examination Unit
  • Studies handwriting or typewriting
  • Analyzes paper ink
  • Examines indented writings burned documents

21
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22
Photography Unit
  • Examines records physical evidence
  • Only black white photos are shown to jurors

23
Optional Services
  1. Toxicology Unit ? poisons/drugs
  2. Latent Fingerprint Unit
  3. Polygraph Unit ? lie detector
  4. Voiceprint Analysis Unit
  5. Evidence Collection Unit ? CSI

24
Evidence the Courts
25
Frye vs. United States (1923)
  • Rejected lie detector evidence
  • Scientific techniques, procedures, principles
    must be GENERALLY ACCEPTED by majority of
    scientific community

26
Daubert vs. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993)
  • GENERAL ACCEPTANCE is no longer absolute
  • Trial judge will act as GATEKEEPER ? deciding
    whether evidence is admissible or not

27
The Expert Witness
  • A person with knowledge that is not expected from
    the average individual
  • This is acquired through experience, training,
    education, or a combination of all 3

28
Testimony
  • Ordinary witnesses cannot must not give their
    opinions ? just FACTS
  • Expert witnesses can give their opinions based on
    scientific facts (but cant be biased to either
    side)

29
  • Other Areas of Forensic Science

30
Forensic Pathology
  • Investigates sudden, unnatural, unexplained, or
    violent deaths
  • Tries to answers Who? What? When? Why? How?
  • Via Autopsy

31
Types of Death
  • Natural
  • Accidental
  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Undetermined????

32
Estimating Time of Death
33
Rigor Mortis
  • Muscles shorten body stiffens
  • Appears within 24 hours
  • Disappears within 36 hours

34
Livor Mortis
  • Blood settles to areas closest to ground
  • Skin turns a blue/purple color

35
Algor Mortis
  • Body starts to lose heat
  • 1-1.5F per hour until room or outside
    temperature is reached

36
Potassium Levels
  • Rise in ocular (eye) fluid after death
  • Time of death estimated by amount of potassium
    present

37
Forensic Anthropology
  • Identifies examines human skeletal remains
  • Determines race, sex, age, injuries
  • Creates facial reconstructions

38
Forensic Entomology
  • Studies insects their relation to death
  • Blow flies lay eggs ? maggots

39
Forensic Psychiatry
  • Determines if people are competent enough to make
    decisions or stand trial
  • Develop behavioral profiles

40
Forensic Odontology
  • Studies teeth bite marks
  • Useful when a body is unrecognizable

41
Forensic Engineering
  • Determines how a crime happened who is
    responsible
  • Accident reconstruction
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