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Runaway Jury. How TV crime dramas effect American court rooms. Outline. Breakdown of the different fields and sensors used in forensics TV versus Real Life Case Study CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Effects of TV on the Court Room. Forensic Science.

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runaway jury

Runaway Jury

How TV crime dramas effect American court rooms

  • Breakdown of the different fields and sensors used in forensics
  • TV versus Real Life
    • Case Study CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Effects of TV on the Court Room
forensic science
Forensic Science
  • The application of a broad range of sciences to answer legal questions
  • Used for both criminal and civil cases
  • Usually referred to as simply ‘forensics’
  • Dates back to Aristotle
forensic psychiatry
Forensic Psychiatry
  • A sub specialty of psychiatry that focuses on the legal aspects of the profession
  • Two major areas of criminal evaluation
    • Competency to stand trial
    • Mental state at time of offense
      • Not guilty by reason of insanity
        • in this case insanity is a legal and not a medical term
trace evidence
Trace Evidence
  • Evidence found at a crime scene in small but measurable amounts
    • Hairs
    • Fibers
    • Gunshot residue
    • Arson accelerants
    • Botanical materials
trace evidence sensors
Trace Evidence Sensors
  • Compound polarized light microscope – most commonly used
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Imprint made by the pattern of ridges on the pad of the human finger
  • No two fingerprints are exactly the same
  • Dactyloscopy is the science of comparing fingerprints
  • Three basic patterns: arch, loop, and whorl
fingerprint sensors
Fingerprint Sensors
  • Dusting power and brush
  • Magnifying glass
  • Computer image enhancement
forensic engineering
Forensic Engineering
  • Investigation of materials, products, structures, or components that fail or do not operate as intended
  • Much more common in civil cases than criminal
    • Locate cause of problem for improvement
    • Insurance companies for liabilities
forensic engineering sensors
Forensic Engineering Sensors
  • Optical and Scanning electron microscopes
  • Spectroscopy
  • Simple hand lens
forensic chemistry
Forensic Chemistry
  • Application of chemistry principles to law enforcement
  • Explosives
  • Poisons
  • Controlled substances
    • Weight
    • Positive identification of substance
forensic chemistry sensors
Forensic Chemistry Sensors
  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer
    • Traveling time
    • Ion presence
  • Fourier Transform infrared spectrophotometer
    • Drug fingerprint
bloodstain pattern analysis
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Combines biology, chemistry, math, and physics to produce strong and solid evidence
  • Can be used to determine several characteristics of the crime committed
  • Variety of blood pattern categories
bloodstain pattern categories
Bloodstain Pattern Categories
  • Passive bloodstains, force: gravity
    • Passive drop, gravity alone
    • Drip pattern, blood dripping into blood
    • Flow pattern, change in flow due to gravity or movement of an object
bloodstain pattern categories15
Bloodstain Pattern Categories
  • Projected bloodstains, force: energy transfer
    • Low, Medium, High Velocity Impact Spatter
    • Cast-Off
    • Gushing
    • Back Spatter
    • Expiratory Blood
bloodstain pattern categories16
Bloodstain Pattern Categories
  • Transfer/contact bloodstains, force: touch
    • Wipe, object moves through existing stain altering its appearance
    • Swipe, transfer from moving source and the direction of travel may be determined by the feathered edge
bloodstain pattern analysis17
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Can be used to determine
    • Mechanism that created the stain
    • Direction of travel
    • Area of origin
    • Basic type of object used
    • Minimum number of blows
    • Positioning of victim, suspect, and objects
    • Sequence of events
bloodstain pattern sensors
Bloodstain Pattern Sensors
  • Center around principles of physics
    • Determine
      • Angle of impact (software)
      • Point of convergence (2D)
      • Area of convergence (2D)
      • Area of origin (3D)
  • Generally collected using photography
  • Sometimes called “the genetic fingerprint”
  • Inherited from both parents, so biological connections can be confirmed
  • 1986 - First used to convict an criminal of murder in England
dna and sensors
DNA and Sensors
  • Computerized databases
  • Ultraviolet scanners
  • Microarray scanner
oj simpson and dna
OJ Simpson and DNA
  • Simpson was not the only thing on trial
  • It was also the most public trial of DNA fingerprinting
  • Most jurors actually did not consider the DNA results when reaching their verdict
  • Prosecution used two different labs with eight markers being tested
forensic anthropology
Forensic Anthropology
  • Applying physical anthropology and the study of the human skeleton in a legal setting
  • Usually applies to criminal cases when the remains are skeletonized or unrecognizable due to decomposition, burning, or mutilation
  • Cannot legally determine the cause of death but help identify the victim
forensic anthropology sensors
Forensic Anthropology Sensors
  • Measurement instruments
  • Microscopes
  • X-rays
forensic facial reconstruction
Forensic Facial Reconstruction
  • Process of recreating the face of an unidentified individual from skeletal remains through artistry, anthropology, and anatomy
  • Does not meet the Daubert Standard
  • Only used to reach a positive identification for the remains
forensic facial reconstruction25
Forensic Facial Reconstruction
  • Two-dimensional reconstructions
    • Portrait drawings based on radiographs, ante mortem photographs, and the skull
    • FACE and CARES computer software can now produce facial approximations quickly and can be edited easily
  • Three-dimensional reconstructions
    • Casts of remains and modeling clay
    • Can be enhanced with computer imaging
information forensics
Information Forensics
  • Investigation into systemic processes that produce information
  • Tends to focus on business, technology, and legacy systems
    • Fraud
    • Abuse
    • Mistakes
    • Sabotage
information forensics28
Information Forensics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cryptography
  • Musicology
  • Trace
  • Major Specialty area: Forensic Accounting
forensic entomology
Forensic Entomology
  • Appling the study of insects and arthropods to legal issues
  • Arthropod involvement in various crimes including
    • Murder/Suicide
    • Rape
    • Physical abuse
    • Contraband trafficking
forensic entomology30
Forensic Entomology
  • Most insects involved in criminal investigations are necrophagous
  • Four primary insect orders
    • Diptera – first on the scene
    • Coleoptera
    • Acari
    • Hymenoptera – last, normally eat insects eating the corpse
forensic entomology sensors
Forensic Entomology Sensors
  • Dissection microscope
  • Electron light microscope
  • Variety of Lenses and chemicals
case study csi
Case Study: CSI
  • One of the most watched shows in television history
  • Has several spin off shows all of which are usually in the top spot in their time slot
  • Different from other crime dramas such as Law and Order because it follows the story more through forensics than it follows people and the court proceedings
case study csi33
Case Study: CSI
  • Benefits produced by CSI
    • Increased or even created public interest in forensic science
    • Majors relating to forensics are some of the fastest growing in the nation
      • Some institutions have even added forensic depts
    • Improved understanding of the importance of science in our every day lives
case study csi34
Case Study: CSI
  • Problems created by the program
    • However, several myths have been created and reinforced through the popularity of the show
    • Myths range from the actual responsibilities of the criminalists to the speed at which results can be produced
    • Influencing real court rooms in what’s termed “The CSI Effect”
case study csi35
Case Study: CSI
  • Myth 1: Laboratory Personnel can examine evidence as soon as it gets to the lab
  • Usually takes months before time permits an examination of the evidence due to back logs and quality control procedures
    • Only exception are “high priority” cases
case study csi36
Case Study: CSI
  • Myth 2: One person can examine all types of evidence
  • There are no ‘generalists’ in today’s forensics
  • The expertise required for each section of forensics sometimes requires one piece of evidence to be examined by more than one individual
case study csi37
Case Study: CSI
  • Myth 3: Fingerprints susceptible to testing and identification are always found
  • Finding identifiable fingerprints that can be collected and are of a high enough quality to do an automated search are rare
  • Normally fingerprint comparison must be done by ‘hand’
case study csi38
Case Study: CSI
  • Myth 4: Testing for drugs and chemicals in blood is quick and easy
  • Numerous drugs, botanicals, chemicals that can be presented at any given crime scene
  • Numerous instruments to identify these various compounds
  • Process often takes weeks or months to complete
case study csi39
Case Study: CSI
  • Myth 5: The cooperative crime scene
  • The ‘perfect’ evidence is rarely there
  • Technology has greatly improved evidence collection but no technological advancements can find nonexistent evidence
  • Time between occurrence and discovery of the crime is the biggest factor
case study csi40
Case Study: CSI
  • Myth 6: The fully equipped crime lab
  • TV forensic labs are always fully equipped with the most up to date technology
  • Even the labs with the largest budgets cannot afford to have the same lab quality as the labs on TV dramas
  • Shortages occur with building space, funds, equipment and proficient personnel
case study csi41
Case Study: CSI
  • Myth 7: Use and availability of some sensors
  • Some of the sensors used are actually prototypes still in the developmental stages and are not on the market yet
  • The accuracy and power of some sensors has been enhanced beyond what they are currently capable of detecting
csi and the courtroom
CSI and the Courtroom
  • Experts have noticed the rise of the “CSI Effect” in courtrooms
    • Trend in which TV shows increase the expectations of victims’ and jury members’ concerning forensic evidence and the level of crime scene investigation
    • Trials are being presented differently at trial
csi and the courtroom43
CSI and the Courtroom
  • From the criminal’s perspective
    • Increase in crime scenes where the evidence has been tampered with or completely destroyed
      • Burning scenes
      • Using bleach
      • Vacuuming carpet and removing the vacuum cleaner
csi and the courtroom44
CSI and the Courtroom
  • Criminal Perspective: Case Study
    • Murder Case in Trumbull County, OH
      • Mother and daughter murdered
      • Used bleach to wash hands
      • Covered car interior with blankets preventing transfer
      • Burned bodies, clothes, and other potential evidence
      • Attempted to sink remaining evidence in a lake
csi and the courtroom45
CSI and the Courtroom
  • Juror perspective
    • Expect to see solid physical evidence indicating the defendant
      • Likely to ignore circumstantial evidence
    • Always assume DNA evidence should be found at the scene
      • If physical evidence is found, it is now much less likely to be questioned by jurors
csi and the courtroom46
CSI and the Courtroom
  • Juror Perspective: Case Study
    • Robert Blake Case
      • Quote from juror “I would have liked more of the kind of evidence I have seen in the cases on ‘CSI’, I just expected more”
      • Dismissed circumstantial evidence
      • More often than not, there is little physical evidence linking defendant directly to the crime