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An Introduction to Forensic Science Forensic Science Defined: Forensic Science (or Criminalistics) is the use of science & technology to enforce civil & criminal laws. It is somewhat hard to pin down exactly what a forensic scientists does because it includes so many other areas of science. Interdisciplinary Relationships Forensics is a diverse field, and rarely are forensic scientists “generalists” – people who specialize in all aspects of forensic science. Forget what you see on CSI. Forensic scientists don’t wear pumps to a crime scene, they rarely interview suspects or make arrests, and they are not experts in all areas of forensic investigations. Rather, forensic experts usually specialize in one or two branches of forensic investigation. Interdisciplinary Relationships A botanist may be an expert in forensic botany. An entomologist may be an expert in forensic entomology. Chemists may specialize in forensic toxicology or arson and bomb analysis. People with expertise in physics may focus on firearms and ballistics or blood spatter analysis. Why do we look to science for assistance in our legal system? • • • • • • Increasing Crime Rates New or Changed Laws New Crimes New Weapons (*see next slide) Response to Public Concerns Response to Law Enforcement Concerns New Weapons? Applying Science to Law Applying science to the Criminal Justice System depends on a scientist’s ability to supply accurate & objective information that reflects the events that have occurred at a crime. A Forensic Scientist Examines the associations between people, places, things and events involved in crimes AKA criminalistics –The examination of physical evidence Evidence: anything that tends to establish OR disprove a fact Includes: – Testimony – Objects – documents Forensic Scientist Job description – Study evidence found at the crime ID object, its origin, and how it got to the crime scene – Expert witness At trial, present data, weighs evidence, gives impartial opinion in court – Researcher Performs scientific research and trains other scientists History & Development of Forensic Science When in Rome… “Forensic” comes from the Latin word “forensis” meaning "of or before the forum.” During the time of the Romans, a criminal charge meant presenting the case before the public. Both the person accused of the crime & the accuser would give speeches based on their side of the story. The individual with the best argument would determine the outcome of the case. The ancient world lacked standardized forensic practices, which aided criminals in escaping punishment. Criminal investigations and trials relied on forced confessions and witness testimony. However ancient sources do contain several accounts of techniques that foreshadow concepts in forensic science that were developed centuries later. Origin of Modern Forensic Science The Chinese book Hsi Duan Yu (The Washing Away of Wrongs), which appeared in 1248, provided the first association of medicine and law. – The book offered useful advice, such as distinguishing drowning (water in the lungs) and strangulation (pressure marks on the throat and damaged cartilage in the neck) from death by natural causes. Origin of Modern Forensic Science In the 16th-century Europe medical practitioners in army and university settings began to gather information on the cause and manner of death. Ambroise Paré, a French army surgeon, systematically studied the effects of violent death on internal organs. Origin of Modern Forensic Science Toxicology One of the first celebrated cases in forensic science involved the 'father of toxicology', Mathieu Orfila (1787-1853), who worked in Paris and testified in an arsenic poisoning criminal trial in 1840. Origin of Modern Forensic Science Toxicology Orfila and others had developed a chemical test to detect arsenic, the poison of choice for the period because the symptoms, violent stomach pains and vomiting, were similar to cholera (a common disease of the times) and often went undetected. Origin of Modern Forensic Science Ballistics Henry Goddard at Scotland Yard pioneered the use of bullet comparison in 1835. He noticed a flaw in the bullet that killed the victim, and was able to trace this back to the mold that was used in the manufacturing process. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Mystery author in late 1800’s Popularized scientific crimedetection methods through his fictional character ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Holmes' techniques could be looked upon, then, as the forerunner of modern forensic sciences: The use of footprints, shoe prints, horseshoe prints, carriage wheel tracks, and bicycle tracks to identify actions at a crime scene (A Study in Scarlet, "The Adventure of the Silver Blaze", "The Adventure of the Priory School") Origin of Modern Forensic Science Anthropometry The French police officer, Alphonse Bertillon was the first to apply the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement, thereby creating an identification system based on physical measurements. Before that time, criminals could only be identified by name or photograph. Anthropometry the scientific study of the measurements and proportions of the human body Bertillon developed a system to distinguish one individual person from another based on certain body measurements. Anthropometry Francis Galton (1822-1911) “Father of Fingerprinting” Developed fingerprinting as a way to uniquely identify individuals. Leone Lattes (1887-1954) “Father of Bloodstain Identification” He developed a procedure for determining the blood type (A, B, AB, or O) of a dried blood stain. Calvin Goddard (1891-1955) “Father of Ballistics” Developed the technique to examine bullets, using a comparison microscope, to determine whether or not a particular gun fired the bullets. Albert Osborn (1858-1946) “Father of Document Examination” His work led to the acceptance of documents as scientific evidence by the courts. Walter McCrone (1916-2002) of Microscopic Forensics” “Father He developed & applied his microscope techniques to examine evidence in countless court cases. Hans Gross (1847-1915) “Father of Forensic Publications” Wrote the book on applying all the different science disciplines to the field of criminal investigation. Edmond Locard (1877-1966) “Father of the Crime Lab” In 1910, he started the 1st crime lab in an attic of a police station in Paris, France. With few tools, he quickly became known world-wide to forensic scientists & criminal investigators & eventually founded the Institute of Criminalistics in France. His most important contribution was the “Locard’s Exchange Principle” Locard’s Exchange Principle “Every Contact Leaves a Trace.” He believed that every criminal can be connected to a crime by particles carried from the crime scene. When a criminal comes in contact with an object or person, a cross-transfer of evidence occurs. J. Edgar Hoover “Father of the FBI” - Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation during the 1930’s Hoover's leadership spanned 48 yrs & 8 presidential administrations. His reign covered Prohibition, the Great Depression, WWII, the Korean War, the Cold War, & the Vietnam War. He organized a national laboratory to offer forensic services to all law enforcement agencies in the U.S. VERY CONTROVERSIAL – He exceeded & abused his authority with unjustified investigations & illegal wiretaps based on political beliefs rather than suspected criminal activity – FBI directors are now limited to 10-year terms Applications of Forensic Science Identification of Criminals or Victims Solving Mysteries Past crimes (unsolved or wrongfully convicted) Cause, Location, Time of Death Paternity cases Cyber crimes Corporate Crimes (Enron) Voice Analysis Munitions When the Army unearthed more than a 1,000 mortar rounds from a WW2 training site, they enlisted a Forensic Science Lab to determine which were live munitions & which were dummies.