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Key Points for Starters:
Jennifer, definitely bring me frozen yogurt with colorful sprinkles. I like chocolate
flavor especially.
Forensic Science-(def.) application of science to criminal and civil laws that are
enforced by police and criminal justice system
Anthropometry-distinguished individuals via body measurements; first system of
personal identification (p. 9 of text)
“…that cross-transfer of materials occurs when two objects come in contact with
one another…”—Locard’s Exchange Principle
Jasmine stop talking behind my back
Key Points for Starters
Basic Services of Full-Service Laboratories (Stop talking Ariel)
Pnysical Science Unit-applies chemistry, physics, geology to identification and comparison of crimescene evidence; encompasses use of chemical tests and analytical instrumentation
Biology Unit-consists of biologists and biochemists; they perform DNA profiling via dried blood
stains, other body fluids, hairs and fibers, etc.
Benny what’s up? “Benny” is definitely better than “Ben”
Firearms Unit-examines firearms, bullets, cartridge cases, all types of ammunition , and their
connection with objects/clothing
Document Examination Unit- studies hand written and typed documents under question; look for
erasures, burned documents, analyze the type of ink/paper
Photography –photographic means of examining and also recording physical evidence; use of
special techniques such as making invisible information become visible through normal vision.
Gabby I’ll need you to fix my itunes later…
Figure 1-10 (p. 21)
Indented Handwriting
Type of Handwriting
Licking the Envelope=Saliva Residue=DNA
Paper Examination-ID the manufacturer
Fingerprints-ID the fingerprints via chemical developing
What you really didn’t know: that the letter was
actually signed “XOXO Gossipgirl” in tiny, unreadable
font —yes she sent the anthrax letters, it was her…I
know, scandalous.
Optional Services Provided by FullService Crime Laboratories
Toxicology unit: presence/absence of drugs and poisons
Latent fingerprinting unit: examines evidence for latent fingerprints
Polygraph unit: lie detector test
Voiceprint analysis unit: tracking a voice to person
Crime-Scene Investigation Unit: collection and preservation of evidence from the
crime scene
Forensic Psychiatry: relationship between human behavior and legal proceedings
Forensic Odontology: dental evidence (usu. Used when victim’s body is
Forensic Engineering: failure analysis, accidence reconstruction, causes and origins
of fires/explosions
Forensic Computer and Digital Analysis: preserving this type of evidence
Didi, why did you switch into my class??? Same question for the other new
students…Oh well it’s not my fault you’re stuck with me the rest of the year! Best
wishes… … … xoxo gossipgirl
Dr. Coppolino’s Deadly House Calls
• Things to think about:
– Conflicting findings (poisoning versus strangulation)
– Traceability of drug…“digging deeper”
• Thus use of logic, physiology, chemistry, and biology (most
all the scientific disciplines!)
– Science and the Law
• Agreement? Conflict?
– New scientific method versus the law: what if some scientists
don’t agree with the new method used? Ans.: In this case it was
ruled that “it doesn’t matter by law since the method will prove
the point that is under question”.
Four Major Reasons for Increase in
Crime Laboratories
1) Requirement to inform /advise criminal
suspects of their constitutional rights and
their right to immediate access to counsel
does not help in the suspect’s will to confess
2) Increase in crime rates in the U.S.
3) All drug seizures must first be sent to a
forensic laboratory for confirmatory chemical
analysis before case can be taken to court
4) DNA Profiling
Analyzing Physical Evidence
• Forensic scientist must be skilled in applying the
knowledge (principles and techniques of physical and
natural sciences) to many types of physical evidence.
• Three major types of evidence: Confessions, Eyewitness account, physical evidence (free of error or
• Scientists use the scientific method for collecting,
organizing, analyzing
• Validity of a newer method must accord with rulings in older,
related cases and must be associated with “general acceptance”
– some courts use this still, but federal courts say: “general acceptance” is
not always an absolute prerequisite;
Detection of Curare in Jascalevich
Murder Trial (pp.36-37)
• Things to think about:
– Detection and identification! Always a central theme
you’ll notice.
– The biological factors in a specimen , i.e. human tissue
• Break down and/or interaction with drugs; what happens
over time (esp. long periods of time!)? Thus also…
– The nature of a drug/chemical; partial (chemical) or
total decomposition
• Interaction with and thus effect of other species
or agents (i.e. bacteria or embalming fluids) with
evidence (i.e. the specimen under study)