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Forensic Science
Hisham Ragab

Chapter 1 – Intro to FS • Forensics is the application of science to law • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) applied many of the principles of modern fs long before they were adopted widely by police o Excited the imagination of an emerging gen of fs’s and crim investigators • Mathieu Orfila – father of forensic toxicology • Alphonse Bertillon – devised the first scientific system of personal identification o Using bodily measurements to identify an individual • Francis Galton – first to research fingerprinting • Leone Lattes – developed procedure for determining the blood group of a dried bloodstain • Calvin Goddard – developed system to find out if a particular gun fired a bullet • Albert Osborn – developed fundamental principles of document examination • Walter McCrone – used microscopy to examine evidence in thousands of crim and civil cases • Hans Gross – wrote the first book describing the application of scientific disciplines to the field of crim investigation • Edmond Locard – started first crime lab on top of a police station o Locard’s Exchange Principle – every contact leaves a trace • Crime Labs o FBI (w/ J Edgar Hoover) organized a nat’l lab that offered forensic services to all law enforcement agencies o Oldest forensic lab in the US is of LAPD  Cali has created a model system of integrated forensic labs consisting of regional and satellite facilities o UK has developed a nat’l system of regional labs under direction of gov’t’s home office o Types of Crime Labs  Federal Crime Labs • FBI maintains largest lab in the world  State and Local Crime Labs • Concept of a regional lab operating as part of a statewide system has increased the accessibility of many local law enforcement agencies to a crime lab o Basic Services Provided by Full-Service Crime Labs  Physical Science Unit  Biology Unit  Firearms Unit  Document Examination Unit  Photography Unit • Functions of the Forensic Scientist o Physical evidence is not subject to the same ‘margin of error’as criminal cases because of strict adherence to the scientific method o Frye vs US  “Generally accepted” principle • The thing from which the deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs o Daubert Ruling: Judges assume the ultimate responsibility for acting as a gatekeeper in judging the admissibility and reliability of scientific evidence presented in their courts o Coppolino v State  Exemplified flexibility of judges in using their own discretion in terms of physical evidence Chapter 2 – The Crime Scene • Physical Evidence – any object that can establish that a crime has or has not been committed or can link a crime and its victim or its perpetrator o Presence of physical evidence must be recognized at crime scene o If an investigator can’t recognize physical evidence or cannot properly preserve it for lab examination, no amount of lab instrumentation or tech expertise can salvage the situation • Notes, photography and sketches are the three methods used for crime scene recording o Ideally, all three are used o Notes  Should be taken on the spot o Photography  Most imp prereq for photographing a crime scene is for it to be unaltered o Sketches  Only rough sketch is required during early stages • Showing location of all objects having bearing on case  Finished sketch is constructed with care and concern for aesthetic appearance o Search Patterns  Strip or Line Search  Grid Search  Spiral Search  Wheel or Ray Search  Quadrant or Zone Search • Collecting and Packaging Evidence • Chain of Custody o Must be established whenever evidence is presented in court as an exhibit • Standard/Reference Samples o Physical evidence whose origin is known, such as blood or hair from a suspect, that can be compared to crime scene evidence o Buccal swab: swab of the inner portion of the cheek; cheek cells are usually collected to determine the profile of an ind o Substrate control: uncontaminated surface material close to an area where physical evidence has been deposited; this sample is to be used to ensure that the surface on which a sample has been deposited does not interfere with lab tests Chapter 3 – Physical Evidence • Algor Mortis • Autopsy • Livor Mortis • Product Rule • Rigor Mortis • ID of physical evidence o Determination of physical or chemical identity of a substance with as near absolute certainty as existing analytical techniques will permit o Identification requires that the nu
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