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Lecture 1

MEDT220 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Crime Lab, Money Laundering, Forensic Entomology

2 pages80 viewsSpring 2017

Medical Laboratory Sciences
Course Code
Lehman, Donald C

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Forensic Science 220
Lecture 1
Definitions of Forensic Science (use biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, etc)
o Application of science to matters of law
o Applies the knowledge of technology of science to the definition and
enforcement of laws
o Application of science to the criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police
agencies in a criminal justice system
Criminalistics: criminalist or forensic scientist
Forensic science is not a branch of law enforcement
o Forensic scientists do not interrogate/arrest suspects or investigate crime scenes
3 Major Ways to Assist Police Investigators
o 1. Confessions (could be falsely confessing for streetcred or to cover up for
someone they know)
o 2. Eyewitness accounts by victims/witnesses (could provide false information
because they were under stress during the crime)
o 3. Evaluation of physical evidence
Only way that is free of bias (if it is ethical and honest)
o Job is to analyze physical evidence and testify in a courtroom
o Expert testimony: must satisfy trial judge that he/she has skill and knowledge in
their trade/profession
o Qualifications of expert witness are highly subjective
o Expert witnesses express opinions as to the significance of the finding
o The ies are onl accepted as representing the epert’s opinion
This is hard to argue against in court (up to the jury to determine validity)
Crime Scene Investigators
o Crime lab analyses are only relevant if crime scene evidence is properly collected
and preserved
o All police officers should have some knowledge of processing evidence
Science and Law
o Matters of law
Crimes: homicide, sexual assault, burglary, murder (has to have malice)
Disputes among individuals
Wrongful death, patents, family law
Areas of Forensics
o Toxicology: analuses of bodily specimens (ex. Blood, gastric content)/other
materials for chemicals such as drugs, medications, poisons and metals
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