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  • Forensic Science in its broadest definition is the application of science to law.

    Forensic Science is the application of science to those criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system (pg 2)

  • Sir Arthur Conan DoyleSherlock HolmesA Study in Scarlet 1887 (pg 3)

  • Father of toxicology

  • 1879 - Anthropometry

  • Fingerprints Developed method of classifying

    Published book Finger Prints

  • 1915 - Created system of determining the blood group of a dried blood stain

  • US Army colonel -refined the technique of ballistic comparison

  • Principles of document examination 1910 - Question Document

  • MicroscopistAdvocate for applying microscopy to analytical problems

  • Wrote Criminal Investigation using scientific method crime detection

  • Locard's Exchange (pg 5)Every criminal can be connected to a crime by dust particles carried from a crime scene

  • The FBI, under J Edgar Hoover, organized the 1st national forensic lab

  • III. Organization of a Crime LabAt present time, approximately 320 public crime labs are operating at various levels of government.

    Why so many???

  • 1. Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s increased the need for police to secure scientific evidence

    2. Staggering increase in crime rates in the United StatesA. Drug related arrests have also increasedB. DNA profiling

  • Four Major Federal Crime LabsFBIDrug Enforcement Administration Lab (DEA)Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and ExplosivesUS Postal Inspection Services

  • IV. Services of the Crime LabBasic Services Provided

    Optional Services Provided

  • IV. Services of the Crime LabBasic services provided:-Physical Science Unit incorporates the principles of chemistry, physics, and geology to identify and compare physical evidence. Biology Unit applies the knowledge of biological sciences in order to investigate blood samples, body fluids, hair, and fiber samples. Firearms Unit investigates discharged bullets, cartridge cases, shotgun shells, and ammunition.

  • IV. Services of the Crime LabBasic services provided:Document Unit provides the skills needed for handwriting analysis and other questioned-document issues. Photographic Unit applies specialized photographic techniques for recording and examining physical evidence.

  • IV. Services of the Crime LabOptional Services ProvidedToxicology 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.

  • V. Functions of Forensic Scientist.Analysis of Physical EvidenceProvision of Expert TestimonyFurnishing Training in the Proper Recognition, collection, and preservation of physical evidence

  • V. Functions of Forensic Scientist.Analysis of Physical EvidenceFormulate a question worthy of investigation.Formulate a reasonable hypothesis to answer the question.Test the hypothesis through experimentation.Upon validation of the hypothesis, it become suitable as scientific evidence.

  • V. Functions of Forensic Scientist.Analysis of Physical EvidenceFrye vs. United StatesDaubert vs. Merrell Dow PharmaceuticalKumho Tire Co. Ltd vs. Carmichael

  • The Frye Standard.The Frye v. United States decision set guidelines for determining the admissibility of scientific evidence into the courtroom. To meet the Frye standard, the evidence in question must be generally accepted by the scientific community.

  • Frye Not AbsoluteDaubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, Inc.,.However, in the 1993 case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court asserted that the Frye standard is not an absolute prerequisite to the admissibility of scientific evidence. Trial judges were said to be ultimately responsible as gatekeepers for the admissibility and validity of scientific evidence presented in their courts, as well as all expert testimony.

  • Kumho Tire Co., ltd vs. CarmichaelIn a 1999 decision, the court unanimously ruled the gatekeeping role of the trial judge applied not only to scientific testimony but to ALL expert testimony.

  • V. Functions of Forensic Scientists2. Provision of Expert Testimony

    Expert Witness: an individual whom the court determines possesses knowledge relevant to the trial that is not expected of the average layperson.

  • V. Functions of Forensic Scientists3. Furnishing Training in the Proper Recognition, Collection, and Preservation of Physical Evidence.

    The competence of a laboratory staff and the sophistication of its analytical equipment have little or no value if relevant evidence cannot be properly recognized, collected, and preserved at the site of a crime.

  • VI. Other Forensic Science Services

    Forensic Pathology

    Forensic Anthropology

    Forensic Entomology

    Forensic Psychiatry

    Forensic Odontology

    Forensic Engineering

  • Forensic PathologyWe must have the courage to know the true causes of death (Ramsey Clark)AutopsyRigor mortisLivor mortisAlgor mortis

    Dr. Michael Hunter

  • Forensic AnthropologyThe specialty that is concerned primarily with the identification and examination of human skeletal remains.

    The Body Farm

  • Forensic Entomology

    The study of insects and their relation to a criminal investigation.

    Forensic Entomology.comThinking about being a Forensic Entomologist?

  • Forensic PsychiatrySpecialized area in which the relationship between human behavior and legal proceedings is examined.Civil vs. CriminalCriminal behavior

    University of Alabama Forensic pageLyle Rossiter, M.D.

  • Forensic Odontology"A dog that intends to bite does not bear its teeth" (Turkish proverb) Provide information about the identification of victims when the body is left in an unrecognizable state

    American Board of Forensic Odontology ( About Forensic Science

  • Forensic EngineeringDefinitionFrom Latin : forensis meaning publicBelonging to courts of lawPertaining to or fitted for legal or public argumentationForensic Engineering science concerned with relations between engineering and the law

  • More Common Definitions

    Forensic engineering activities related to failure investigationForensic engineering is a relatively new discipline in engineering

  • Qualifications of Forensic Engineer

    Expert in subject under investigationFormal educationExperienceLicensed engineerActive in technical societiesFair, impartial, and ethicalTruthfulObjectiveAvoid conflict of interest

  • History of Penalties for Failures

    Code of HammurabiNapoleonic CodeEnglish Common Law

  • Code of Hammurabi (2200 B.C.)King of Babylonia

  • Code of HammurabiIf a builder builds a house for a man and do not make its construction firm and the house which he has built collapse and cause the death of the owner of house the builder shall be put to death If it cause the death of the son of the owner of the house they shall put to death a son of that builder If it cause the death of a slave of the owner of the house he shall give to the owner of the house a slave of equal value

  • Code of HammurabiIf it destroy property, he shall restore whatever it destroyed, and because he did not make the house which he built firm and it collapsed, he shall rebuild the house which collapsed at his own expense

    If a builder builds a house for a man and do not make its construction meet the requirements and a wall fall in, that builder shall strengthen the wall at his own expense- Translated by R.F. Harper

  • Napoleonic Code (1804)If there is a loss in serviceability in a constructed project within 10 years of its completion because of a foundation failure or from poor workmanship, the contractor and architect (luckily not the engineer!) will be sent to prison

  • Common Law in England(15th Century)

    If a carpenter undertakes to build a house and does it ill (not well), an action will lie against him

  • Forensic EngineeringConcerned with failure analysis, accident reconstruction, and causes/origins of fires or explosions.

    Bison EngineeringJournal of Failure and AnalysisWhat do I want to be when I grow up?


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