Examples Of Trace Evidence

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Forensics has been utilized to solve criminal cases for a very long time. One of the components to forensic science is trace evidence. Trace evidence is evidence that is left behind or transferred through contact. Examples of trace evidence would include soil, hair, fibers, pollen, and gunshot residue. One might believe that it would be great to find these pieces of evidence on a victim of a homicide. However, the minute samples, ambiguity of it being the result of something criminal, and not being able to be linked to a particular individual with a high degree of certainty are three reasons trace evidence is not reliable. Trace evidence dates back to the early 20th century, with Dr. Edmond Locard being the person responsible for discovering…show more content…
This presents a problem if it is needed to be tested in the future because after the initial testing, the sample will be used up. Using up a sample is another problem in itself. There should always be enough for multiple testing just in case there is a problem with the results of the initial testing. For example, if the integrity of the initial technician is put into question and supervisors needed to retest the sample, this could not be done if the sample was used up. A smaller sample is also more susceptible to contamination which is definitely a problem, especially if the source of the contamination is unknown. Contamination could alter the results of an investigation and incorrect conclusions could be…show more content…
Trace evidence is transferred from person to person, but not necessarily from criminal means. For example, loose fibers or hair can be transferred during a hug or from sitting on a piece of furniture where loose fibers and hairs could be located. Another example of how it can be transferred is from borrowing clothes, such as a sweater, that could leave fibers on the clothes underneath when taken off. These few examples of many are intended to show how easily trace evidence is transferred and why it should be looked at carefully. In terms of forensics, it one of the main reasons why it is considered unreliable and should never be the sole piece of evidence in an

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