End Of The Year Forensics Project

Ben Davidson

Course Standard 3

Locard's Principle says that the perpetrator of a crime will bring something into the crime scene and leave with something from it. It also says that both can be used as forensic evidence.The Frye standard is a general acceptance test that determines the admissibility of scientific evidence.The Daubert standard provides a rule of evidence regarding the admissibility of expert witnesses' testimony during United States federal legal proceedings. Testimonial evidence consists of statements that are made in court by witnesses and that are offered as proof of the matter asserted, or of what is being discussed. Physical evidence is any material object that plays some actual role in the matter that gave rise to the litigation, introduced in a trial, intended to prove a fact in issue based on the object's demonstrable physical characteristics. Class evidence is any characteristics that are common to a group and they are called class characteristics. If it is evidence with the characteristics to an individual than it is individual evidence. Miscellaneous evidence is evidence that consists of a variety of aspects and characteristics. Public crime labs are organized at the city, county, state, or national level. A law enforcement agency that does not operate its own crime lab usually has free access to a higher level laboratory for analysis of their evidence. The Los Angeles Police Department founded the first crime laboratory in the United States.Trace evidence analysis, DNA analysis, bullet analysis and blood spatter analysis are several things tested in crime labs. Trace evidence analysis, fingerprinting and DNA identification, evaluation of body fluids, and compound determination, such as drugs or other hazardous chemicals are tested in a lab by equipment.Forensic science evidence may be determined inadmissible on the basis of its origin and, in particular, on the ground that it has been illegally or improperly obtained. If samples from the body of a suspect and a victim, have been obtained by an unlawful search or a false imprisonment of a suspect by law enforcement officers, evidence relating to the results of their scientific analysis may not be admissible. The law may prohibit the admission of the evidence by reason of the impropriety.

Course Standard 4

Post-mortem interval is the time that has elapsed since a person has died. If the time in question is not known, a number of medical and scientific techniques are used to determine it. This also can refer to the stage of decomposition of the body. The traditional decomposition stages include initial decay, putrefaction, black putrefaction, butyric fermentation, and mummification. More advanced methods include DNA quantification, infrared spectroscopy, and for buried individuals changes in soils such as the levels of methane, phosphates and nitrates. The five manners of death are natural, accident, homicide, suicide, and undetermined. After careful examination with all of the evidence given, the forensic pathologist acting as a medical examiner or coroner will assign a cause of death as one of these five manners. If the autopsy reveals a natural disease process such as leukemia or cancer, then the death would be considered natural. Death resulting from an accident from an unusual event that was unanticipated by everyone involved is an accidental death. Homicide occurs when one human being causes the death of another human being. Suicide death is when one takes their own life. Undetermined deaths are situations where the coroner can't accurately determine the appropriate category. Self defense and manslaughter are common types of homicide. The autopsy begins with a complete external examination. The weight and height of the body are recorded, and identifying marks such as scars and tattoos also are recorded before the actual procedure begins.

Course Standard 9

The CSI effect is any of several ways in which the exaggerated portrayal of forensic science on crime television shows such as CSI influences public perception. The term most often refers to the belief that jurors have come to demand more forensic evidence in criminal trials, thereby raising the effective standard of proof for prosecutors. While this belief is widely held among American legal professionals, some studies have suggested that crime shows are unlikely to cause such an effect, although frequent CSI viewers may place a lower value on circumstantial evidence. In one highly publicized incident, Los Angeles County, California District Attorney Steve Cooley blamed actor Robert Blake's acquittal on murder charges on the CSI effect. Cooley noted that the not guilty verdict came despite two witness accounts of Blake's guilt, and claimed that the jury members were "incredibly stupid". A 2008 survey by researcher Monica Robbers showed that roughly 80 percent of all American legal professionals believed they had had decisions affected by forensic television programs. Many types of evidence found in civil cases can been analyzed and interpreted in the same fashion as evidence from criminal cases. For example, a civil case involving property damage such as vandalism, may be able to take advantage of something like forensic paint or fracture match analyses. Tort laws involving accidents or negligence could benefit from various types of materials and/or product investigative analyses in the laboratory. Patent infringement cases are another form of civil litigation, and could absolutely take advantage of various forensic methodologies, including forensic paint, tape, and other various materials analyses methods.An expert witness is a person whose opinion by virtue of education, training, certification, skills or experience, is accepted by the judge as an expert. The Frye test, coming from the case Frye v. United States, said that admissible scientific evidence must be a result of a theory that had "general acceptance" in the scientific community. The Daubert test requires a theory to be testable, a theory to have been peer reviewed, have 100% reliability, and have an extent of acceptance in the scientific community. Between the Frye standard and the Daubert ruling, these two cases set the rule of evidence regarding admissibility.