This updated Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide to Law. Enforcement is a revision of the original publication published in. January , and borrows heavily. The key principle underlying crime scene investigation is a concept that has become .. (terney.info) A Reference for Law. Crime scene investigation is the process of recognizing, preserving and collecting physical evidence – more precisely called physical traces – in order to recon-.
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The Technical Working Group on Crime Scene Investigation. (TWGCSI) is a multidisciplinary group of content-area experts from across the United States, from. low-powered microscope ( x), Petri-dishes, spoon. Post-it notes. Web site addresses written on the post-it notes may help in the crime scene investigation. bridge the gap in application of Forensic Science on crime scene management and to guide the Investigating Officers. We wish to thank the chapter authors and .
However, the science is so new that there are no guidelines prescribed to the DNA matching process and each process has its own problems associated with it. Jurors are bombarded with an immense amount of complex data which they should dismiss as they do not understand it.
Yet, jurors prefer statistical information, which is why the defense does everything it can to prevent statistics from being introduced during the trial. Today, judicial and law enforcement organizations accept DNA testing as an accurate science, yet there are possibilities though extremely low that it could identify the wrong person.
This should be a concern when considering that genetic identification is already in use today, such as with paternity, relationship, twin zygosity, forensic, and crime scene DNA testing.
This type of identification gets more controversial as many countries push to expand their DNA databases so that probable identification can be made from genetic material that humans leave behind.
This type of technology introduces serious privacy issues to society, and must be examined and questioned before privacy is completely compromised.
A recent collaboration found that when the size of DNA databases increase, so does the chance for misidentification Privacy, How would a person disprove the identification of genetic material found at a crime scene?
Would our current legal system account for the possibility of misidentification? Is probability of identification conclusive enough to convict people of crimes? This problem reaches even further since society, in general, considers DNA and genetic testing to be foolproof, when, in fact, it is not a completely 25 accurate science.
In fact, human error increases the chance of misidentification. The identification of a person by the examination of genetic material can incriminate or prove them innocent. Only since fingerprinting evolved has there been a technology that has had such an influence on society. The difference between fingerprinting and genetic identification is that the layperson understands how fingerprinting works and knows the benefits and downfalls this technique potentially represents.
However, the layperson does not understand all of these aspects as they relate to genetic identification. Instead, people view DNA analysis as an exact science. Through this correlation, they assume that such analysis is infallible.
This is extremely troubling when so much is riding on the identification of an individual by this process, the related issues of privacy, and the individual liberties that genetic identification involves.
Nowhere else in society do these aspects appear more blatantly than in Crime Scene Investigation CSI and forensic science. Witnesses said two perpetrators had entered the club wearing black-hooded sweatshirts. No one noticed them hanging out in the back of the club, until they fired semi-automatic weapons into the crowd, hitting two males and one female with over 30 bullets.
The suspects then vanished in the resulting chaos that they had created. His first move was to review the security tapes on the dance floor. This was the detail that the other detectives overlooked.
Unfortunately for the suspects, the glass was still in the exact same position. Another fifteen minutes and the computer searching the database came up with a match that is The perpetrator was positively identified and arrested later that night.
His accomplice was picked up later that week after his friend identified him in an attempt to make a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. This is a fictitious story where CSI made a substantial difference in solving a crime and capturing criminals. This is a good example of the benefits CSI and genetic identification can contribute to society.
But to fully understand how genetic identification could benefit or harms society, we need to further explore its applications in this field. CSI has evolved into an exact science and methodology over the past decades as criminals have become more intelligent and devious in their crimes. As science progresses, new technologies become available 26 to forensic scientists and crime scene investigators. DNA identification is nothing short of a miracle for CSI, yet using DNA identification, as the sole method of incrimination is shortsighted and unfair.
Not everyone can be a CSI, as the training is intensive and not for the weak at heart. The prerequisites depend on where you are applying and whether you want to become a CSI for the FBI or for a local law enforcement agency.
The following are the highest prerequisites necessary: a four year degree in science or a criminal justice degree, previous involvement with law enforcement, as well as: …a minimum of hours training in crime scene processing with a minimum of 80 hours training in latent fingerprint processing, 40 hours in major death investigation, 40 hours in advanced death investigations, 40 hours in photography, 40 hours in blood spatter interpretation and other training courses in arson investigation and forensic pathology.
The attention to detail is learned through hours of experience, and continued education is always necessary. They must always be aware and take into account the development and incorporation of new technologies such as DNA identification.
Intensive training is essential, as these investigators are specialists and their word is used as evidence in a court of law. Any flaw, mistake, or neglect on their part could very well jeopardize a case against a killer, as well as their career as a specialist. It is an intense job that requires one to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It does not matter what time of day or night, if they have been working three shifts, or if there is a blizzard outside. A CSI agent could be called fifteen minutes before sitting down to Christmas dinner to examine a triple homicide. The amount of knowledge, training, experience, thought, effort, endurance, imagination, alertness, caution, prudence, judgment, thoroughness and precision that CS investigators have is respectable at the least and just goes to show why they are such valued specialists.
With the advent and progression of DNA identification, local law enforcement officers have the opportunity to investigate crimes that were previously restricted to specialized forensic scientists or CS investigators. There are even codes that police officers are taught pertaining to DNA evidence, such as what types of evidence can be left behind e. The advent of local law 27 enforcement agencies taking it upon themselves to do their own DNA identification shows just how far such methods have come since its inception in CSI involves reconstructing the crime through logical interpretations of available evidence.
As stated previously, a lot of education and experience are necessary. Such education is required since everything at a crime scene could be potential evidence, leading to the apprehension and conviction of a criminal.
A CSI must never assume anything until all possible evidence is collected, analyzed and logged. Photographs, physical evidence e. DNA evidence, evidence of forcing a lock, breaking the door, or a foot print in the backyard , and testimony must all be taken into account to come up with the most accurate depiction of what had transpired. Through every step of reconstructing the crime scene, the examiner must take into account that they will be called to testify in court as an expert witness in the matter.
They must take every precaution to ensure that the crime scene is not tampered with and that evidence samples are not contaminated. It isn't unusual for the call to come after the crime scene technician is asleep in bed, sometimes after having worked a hour day But just because the crime scene investigator hasn't slept in 24 hours is no reason for missing an item of evidence or for under working a crime scene.
So it may be "just a burglary"? That burglary is just as important to the investigating agency as is any other case.
The victim deserves the best investigative efforts possible, regardless of the type of crime under investigation Baldwin, Such specialization is considered a necessity now that DNA evidence in on the scene in many cases. This training is important because so many things can go wrong between locating foreign DNA evidence, collecting it, transferring it to the test sight, and even potentially in the preservation and testing of such samples.
Identification can not only be used in catching a suspect but also to exonerate an innocent person: In , Gerald Parker—then in a California prison on a parole violation stemming from a sentence for raping a child—was charged with the rapes and murders of five women between December and October and the murder of a fetus during a rape in After DNA tests linked Parker to the victims, he confessed to the crimes.
He also confessed to a similar, fifth crime for which Kevin Lee Green had been wrongly convicted and had served 16 years in prison NIJ, These people were wrongfully convicted and some have spent a good portion of their life in prison. Not since fingerprinting, has a technology been able to affect people in such a dichotomous way.
Genetic identification can be used to convict a person or set them free. DNA identification is an extremely useful tool that should be used to the fullest extent, as it saves lives both by putting criminals behind bars and by freeing the innocent. There are issues that are now being revealed, that must be addressed, as this science is rapidly being fully integrated into our criminal investigation procedures.
Hopkins, the third case involving DNA evidence ever tried in the country. Paper containers allow evidence that is not completely dry to continue drying. When the evidence is collected properly there is less of a chance that the items collected will be damaged or contaminated.
Forensics uses a variety of different tools and techniques. Fingerprint collection through the use of grey or black magnetic powder. DNA and other bodily fluids are collected and, whether it is hair or fluid, for further examination in a lab. Electronics are taken for examination by a technical expert to search for further evidence. Documents from the area are also taken for further examination.
Ammunition and weapons are taken for matching to wounds and ballistics. Photographs of tool marks are taken because they can be matched to a weapon at a later time.
Any other trace evidence is also collected. Only the appropriate personnel with the proper knowledge and training should be collecting evidence. These individuals include, First Responders, Crime Scene Investigators, and other specialized personnel. For instance, paper containers, such as bags,envelopes, or boxes, may be optimal for biological samples.
Paper containers allow evidence that is not completely dry to continue drying. When the evidence is collected properly there is less of a chance that the items collected will be damaged or contaminated. Forensics uses a variety of different tools and techniques. Fingerprint collection through the use of grey or black magnetic powder.
DNA and other bodily fluids are collected and, whether it is hair or fluid, for further examination in a lab. Electronics are taken for examination by a technical expert to search for further evidence. Documents from the area are also taken for further examination.