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Forensic Science

Forensic Science

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Forensic Science

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  1. Forensic Science Chapter 1

  2. Definition and Scope of Forensic Science • 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)

  3. Criminalistics vs. Forensic Science

  4. History and Developement of Forensic Science Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes A Study in Scarlet 1887(pg 3)


  6. Father of toxicology Mathieu Orfila (1787 - 1853)

  7. 1879 - Anthropometry Alphonse Bertillon (1853 - 1914)

  8. Francis Galton Fingerprints Developed method of classifying Published book Finger Prints (1822 - 1911)

  9. Dr. Leone Lattes (1887 - 1954) 1915 - Created system of determining the blood group of a dried blood stain

  10. Calvin Goddard US Army colonel -refined the technique of ballistic comparison (1891 - 1955)

  11. Alburt S. Osborn Principles of document examination 1910 - Question Document (1858 - 1946)

  12. Walter McCrone Microscopist Advocate for applying microscopy to analytical problems (1916 - 2002)

  13. Hans Gross Wrote Criminal Investigation using scientific method crime detection (1847 - 1915)

  14. Edmond Locard Locard's Exchange (pg 5) Every criminal can be connected to a crime by dust particles carried from a crime scene (1877 - 1966)

  15. 1932 The FBI, under J Edgar Hoover, organized the 1st national forensic lab

  16. III. Organization of a Crime Lab • At present time, approximately 320 public crime labs are operating at various levels of government. • Why so many???

  17. 1. Supreme Court decisions in the 1960’s increased the need for police to secure scientific evidence • 2. Staggering increase in crime rates in the United States • A. Drug related arrests have also increased • B. DNA profiling

  18. FourMajor Federal Crime Labs • FBI • Drug Enforcement Administration Lab (DEA) • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives • US Postal Inspection Services

  19. IV. Services of the Crime Lab • Basic Services Provided • Optional Services Provided

  20. IV. Services of the Crime Lab • Basic 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.

  21. IV. Services of the Crime Lab • Basic 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.

  22. IV. Services of the Crime Lab • Optional Services Provided • Toxicology 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.

  23. V. Functions of Forensic Scientist. • Analysis of Physical Evidence • Provision of Expert Testimony • Furnishing Training in the Proper Recognition, collection, and preservation of physical evidence

  24. V. Functions of Forensic Scientist. • Analysis of Physical Evidence • Formulate 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.

  25. V. Functions of Forensic Scientist. • Analysis of Physical Evidence • Frye vs. United States • Daubert vs. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical • Kumho Tire Co. Ltd vs. Carmichael

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. Kumho Tire Co., ltd vs. Carmichael In 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.

  29. V. Functions of Forensic Scientists • 2. 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.

  30. V. Functions of Forensic Scientists • 3. 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.

  31. Forensic Pathology Forensic Anthropology Forensic Entomology Forensic Psychiatry Forensic Odontology Forensic Engineering VI. Other Forensic Science Services

  32. Forensic Pathology“We must have the courage to know the true causes of death” (Ramsey Clark) • Autopsy • Rigor mortis • Livor mortis • Algor mortis Dr. Michael Hunter

  33. Forensic Anthropology • The specialty that is concerned primarily with the identification and examination of human skeletal remains. The Body Farm

  34. Forensic Entomology • The study of insects and their relation to a criminal investigation. Forensic Thinking about being a Forensic Entomologist?

  35. Forensic Psychiatry • Specialized area in which the relationship between human behavior and legal proceedings is examined. • Civil vs. Criminal • Criminal behavior University of Alabama Forensic page Lyle Rossiter, M.D.

  36. 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 ( All About Forensic Science

  37. Forensic Engineering • Definition • From Latin : forensis meaning “public” • Belonging to courts of law • Pertaining to or fitted for legal or public argumentation • Forensic Engineering – science concerned with relations between engineering and the law

  38. More Common Definitions • Forensic engineering – activities related to failure investigation • Forensic engineering is a relatively new discipline in engineering

  39. Qualifications of Forensic Engineer • Expert in subject under investigation • Formal education • Experience • Licensed engineer • Active in technical societies • Fair, impartial, and ethical • Truthful • Objective • Avoid conflict of interest

  40. History of Penalties for Failures • Code of Hammurabi • Napoleonic Code • English Common Law

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

  42. Code of Hammurabi • If 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

  43. Code of Hammurabi If 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

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. Forensic Engineering • Concerned with failure analysis, accident reconstruction, and causes/origins of fires or explosions. Bison Engineering Journal of Failure and Analysis What do I want to be when I grow up?