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Introduction to Forensic Science. Coach Whitaker. Vocabulary. Forensic Science—is the study and application of science to matters of law Odontology—examination of bite marks and dental identification Pathology—investigation of sudden, unexplained, or violent death

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Introduction to Forensic Science


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Introduction to Forensic Science Coach Whitaker

    2. Vocabulary • Forensic Science—is the study and application of science to matters of law • Odontology—examination of bite marks and dental identification • Pathology—investigation of sudden, unexplained, or violent death • Entomology—the study of insects • Palynology—the study of pollen and spores

    3. Vocabulary • Polygraphy—the use of the lie detector • Anthropologist—study of human remains • Serologist—deals with blood and other body fluids • toxicologist—study of drugs and poisons • Botanist—study of plants and plant residue

    4. Vocabulary • Expert Witness—person who provides testimony at a legal proceeding in the form of professional opinions

    5. Anticipation Guide

    6. Forensic Science • Forensic Science or criminalistics is the study and application of science to matters of law • Forensic scientists use crime labs to help them examine evidence • Most crime labs will include the following: physical science, biology, ballistics, document examination, photography, toxicology, and finger prints

    7. Forensic Science • A forensic scientist’s performs all of the following duties: • Studies and collects different types of evidence at crime scenes • Testifies as an expert witness at trials where he or she presents data, weighs evidence, and gives opinions to the court • Performs scientific research and train other scientists

    8. Forensic Science • Forensic Scientists come from many backgrounds; many have studied biology, or microbiology, chemistry, physical science, geology, or one of the other sciences • They learn about forensics from experience or independent study or through experience as a police officer

    9. Forensic Science • In the past when the world was smaller, identifying, capturing, and convicting criminals depended on eyewitnesses and confessions • In order for law enforcement to keep pace other techniques for IDing criminals had to be develop • Science provides methods that depend less on eyewitnesses to ID criminals or to link the criminals to the crime scene • Can you think of any examples?

    10. Great Examples That Propelled Forensic Science Forward • Microscope—enabled criminalists to analyze even the smallest bits of evidence and to see details that were unseen • Photography—gave criminalists a clear representation of the crime scene without relying on memory or drawings • Ballistics—gave criminalists a clearer idea where a bullet came from • Blood typing and DNA—made matching suspect to crime scene much more exact

    11. Careers in Forensic Science • Criminalist • Crime Scene Investigator • Forensic Investigator • Forensic pathologist • Forensic pathology technician • Forensic anthropologist • Forensic toxicologist • Fingerprint examiner • Forensic document examiner • Detective/Investigator • Coroner

    12. Career Activity • Your job is to create a one minute info-commercial on one of the careers we talked about • You must have job requirements, salary, job descriptions, work conditions, qualifications, work environment, and some type of job slogan used for recruitment. You can use any media, music, or any other technology device

    13. Crime Lab • Crime labs can be found on the local, state, and federal level • For example, the GBI crime lab in DeKalb County • The FBI maintains the largest crime lab in the world • A forensics crime lab is similar to a medical lab except it is geared toward testing evidence and linking it to a suspect or crime

    14. Crime Lab • State and local crime labs may have the following divisions: • Physical science unit—examine drugs, soil, glass, paint, blood spatter, and other trace evidence • A firearms unit to examine tool marks, weapons, firearms, and ballistics • Document analysis unit to examine handwriting, word processing, and computer applications • Biology unit to examine body fluids, DNA, blood, hair, fibers, insects, and plant life

    15. Crime Lab • These professionals assist the crime labs and are the most skilled forensic scientist • Pathologist—deals with the nature of disease and the affects on the human body (assaults, rapes, and abuse) • Anthropologist—studies skeletal remains to determine the age, sex, and race of the deceased, injuries or illnesses the person suffered, and establish time of death • Odontologists—helps identify unknown corpses by matching dental patterns with X-Rays, Casts, and photographs

    16. Crime Lab • Entomologists—study of insects. Study life cycles of insects that feed on the human body • Psychiatrists—study the sanity or competence of someone to stand trial or profile criminals • Serologist—deals with blood and other body fluids • Toxicologists—deals with drugs and poisons • Botanists—examines plant residue at crime scenes

    17. Crime Lab Activity • Crime Lab drawing that includes the units discussed and five visuals for each unit along with medical technicians visuals • http://investigation.discovery.com/investigation/forensics/forensic-lab-tour.html

    18. Testifying in Court • In the United States court system, both sides on trial attempt to out-argue each other • Each side attempts to present evidence that favors their argument and discredit the opposition’s argument • Each side attempts to bring in an “expert witness” to support or refute the testimony of the expert witness

    19. Testifying in Court • The EW must establish his or her creditability through credentials, background, and experience • The side that calls on an EW asks supportive questions and the opposition side ask tough questions • The EW must make their honest opinions clear, concise, and believable

    20. Testifying in Court • The real goal of court proceedings is to provide enough evidence so a jury can reach an understandable version of the truth • Hard to get to that point because some evidence is not admissible in court because they were obtained improperly, contaminated, or a chain of custody was compromised

    21. Testifying in Court • Judges typically allow a great deal of leeway to EW on how they present their information • EW is allowed to go beyond normal questions and answers because their technical testimony needs an explanation to a person who does not have knowledge of their field • Rarely is an EW allowed to express in his or her testimony as an absolute

    22. Testimony Activity • Graphic Organizer about the similarities and differences of police officers, lawyers, and forensic scientists

    23. CSI Effect and Common Myths • The CSI effect is a reference to the phenomenon of popular television shows such as the CSI franchise raising real-world expectations of forensic science, especially crime scene investigation and DNA testing. • Writers of forensic science television—glamorizes the field, overstating the accuracy of forensic techniques, and exaggerating the abilities of forensic • Everyone is an arm chair expert on forensics

    24. Common Myths • The quick death—almost no one dies instantly but from bleeding • The pretty death—real dead people are ugly • The bleeding corpse—real corpses do not bleed • The exact time of death—no known exact time of death

    25. Common Myths • The one-punch knockout • The disappearing black eye—it takes a couple of weeks for a black eye to heal • The fast-acting poison—Acute poisoning most often takes several days • The instant athlete • The high tech crime lab—not as glamorous and not as much fancy equipment

    26. Final Activity • Timeline of significant dates and events in forensic science history • Must create a time line online or draw one describing 15 major events in forensic science history