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History of Forensic Science

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  1. History of Forensic Science

  2. Forensic Science Application of science to the criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system

  3. Yi Yu Ji (A collection of criminal cases) • The first written account of using medicine and entomology to solve (separate) criminal cases • 1235: Sung Tzu solved a murder by instructing all suspects to bring their sickles to one location. Flies, attracted by the smell of blood, eventually gathered on a single sickle. In light of this, the murderer confessed. • The book also offered advice on how to distinguish between a drowning (water in the lungs) and strangulation (broken neck cartilage). • Noticed no ashes in corpse, used pigs and set up experiment

  4. 1670 First powerful microscope created by Anton Van Leeuwenhoek

  5. 1784 Lancaster, England, John Toms was tried and convicted for murdering Edward Culshaw with a pistol. When the dead body of Culshaw was examined, a pistol wad (crushed paper used to secure powder and balls in the muzzle) found in his head wound matched perfectly with a torn newspaper found in Toms' pocket.

  6. Father of toxicology • 1814: Scientific paper on poison published by Matthieu Orfila of Spain • the first person to systematise the study and classification of toxic substances when he found traces of poison in the liver of a dead dog. • Father of Forensic Toxicology

  7. Identification of remains (odontology and anthropometry) • 1879: System of measuring people by body measurements developed by Alphonse Bertillon of France • Known as Father of Criminal Identification • Most accurate until 1900s when fingerprints are used

  8. 1850s-60s Crime photography was established Used to record criminals and crime scenes

  9. Francis Henry Galton • Father of forensic fingerprint identification • 1892: Published Fingerprints, which is used in the present day

  10. Calvin Goddard • 1889: Bullets were matched to gun they were fired from, the start of ballistics

  11. Sherlock Holmes Fictional character Author: Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Used forensics to solve crimes before police did Brought forensics to public

  12. Fingerprinting (cont’d) • 1902: First person was convicted on fingerprint evidence • 1903: NYC police began fingerprint files of arrested persons

  13. Who is the main suspect (s)? Someone was attacked yesterday. There was a 7.7cm sized bruise on the victim’s face. There were 24cm sized shoe prints spaced 38cm apart. Who is your main suspect?

  14. 1905 Theodore Roosevelt establishes FBI

  15. Albert S. Osborn 1910 Established process for questioning authenticity of documents Wrote Questioned Documents Still used today

  16. Hans Gross 1893 Publishes “Criminal Investigation” Discusses all parts of criminalistics Start of all forensic journals

  17. 1910 – Edmond Locard Med and law school background Convinced police department in england to give him two assistant and attic for forensic evidence analysis Started 1st forensics lab Later started 1st forensic university

  18. Locard’s exchange principle When 2 objects come in contact with each other, a cross-transfer of materials occurs.

  19. Leone Lattes 1915 Discovered the blood group of a dried blood stain

  20. 1923 First crime lab established in conjunction with LA police by August Vollmer

  21. 1930 FBI sets up national fingerprint file in US

  22. 1950 American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) founded in Chicago Also introduction of computer chromatography, electrophoresis, and spectrophotometry

  23. 1974 Electron microscopy of gunshot residue starts

  24. 1977 Automated Fingerprint Identification System of computer scans introduced in FBI

  25. Walter C. McCrone Became the premier microscopist in forensics career Taught thousands his analytical study method

  26. 1981 • FBI opens “Forensic Science Research and Training Center” • Research new methods • Train personnel

  27. 1984 Sir Alec Jeffreys develops DNA profiling tests 1986 – DNA used to convict Colin Pitchfork of 2 murders and establish innocence of another suspect.

  28. 1986 FBI starts databases on DNA, fingerprints, bullets, and shell casing

  29. More emphasis on the evidence Constitutional right to counsel has limited confessions Satellites allow for sharing of information but NO national systems of forensics labs. Increase in drug crimes

  30. 1990s • Increase in DNA technology • Increase in drug analysis outways DNA cases • FBI has largest crime lab in the world • Drug Enforcement Administration labs • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms • US Postal Inspection Service

  31. Crime Labs Some states have state crime labs and work with local crime labs to share info and complete tests NYC has the largest crime lab in the state England and Canada have federal system of regional labs, that charge for services

  32. Parts to a Crime Lab • Physical Science Unit • Examine trace evidence back at lab, compare crime scene evidence, chemists, physicists, geologists

  33. 2. Biology Unit DNA profiling, compare wood and plants

  34. 3. Firearms Unit Detect residue, casings, shells, and firearms

  35. 4. Document Examination Unit Determine authenticity of documents

  36. 5. Photography Unit Photograph scene, use infrared, UV, x-rays

  37. 6. Toxicology Unit Bodily fluids and organs for drugs and poisons

  38. 7. Latent Fingerprint Unit Process and examine evidence of fingerprints

  39. 8. Polygraph Unit Determine authenticity of witness testimony

  40. 9. Voiceprint analysis Unit Tying the voice to the culprit

  41. 10. Crime-scene Investigation Unit Collect and preserve evidence to be processed

  42. 11. Forensic Psychiatry Human behavior to test competency, disorders and for criminal profiling

  43. 12. Forensic Odontology Dental evidence, bite marks

  44. 13. Forensic Engineering Accident reconstruction, cause and origin of fire/explosions

  45. 14. Forensic Computer and Digital Analysis Preserving digital information, cell phones, computers, etc.

  46. 15. Forensic Anthropology Using skeletal remains to identify information of victim

  47. Scientific Method Question: who committed the crime? Hypothesis Experimentation If validated by experimentation, it becomes scientific evidence

  48. What type of evidence is the strongest? • Physical • Eyewitness accounts and confessions can be misconstruded

  49. Determining admissibility of evidence Must meet “Frye Standard”