Forensic Science Research Paper

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The most important aspect of any criminal case is the evidence. Without evidence, no one has any way of proving anything! That’s where forensic science comes in. Forensic science is the application of scientific knowledge, principles, and techniques to matters of the law. It is an extremely interdisciplinary collection of sciences used in situations ranging from structure failures to fraud to homicide. The most important aspects of forensic science when applied to criminal cases are the collection of evidence, the analysis of that evidence, and the presentation of evidence in court.

Collection

The evidence process begins at the scene of the crime. Safety is everyone’s first priority. Victims must be moved to safety and given medical
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This is when forensic scientists get to work! This work varies tremendously between different types of evidence. Mass spectrometry and/or gas chromatography may be preformed chemical evidence, such as liquids, residues, drugs, bodily fluids, and other unknown substances, to determine what the sample is made of. Samples possibly containing DNA may need to be sent to an outside lab for DNA testing. With the advanced DNA understanding and technology that we now have, scientists only need 18 cells to preform a successful test! Print, mark, and impression evidence, such as fingerprints, tool marks, and tire tracks, is usually compared with known prints, marks, and impressions to find a match. Fingerprints found at a scene may be run through IAFIS, and enormous fingerprint database created by the FBI. Although it is highly unlikely that any two fingerprints are the same, human error in recording fingerprints and the changes of skin overtime mean that IAFIS can only give suggestions on possible matches, not determine exactly to whom the prints belong. Other prints and impressions, such as those from tires or shoes, can be compared with known examples just like fingerprints. Scientists sometimes request help from manufacturers in identifying what made the prints or…show more content…
Presentation in Court

When it comes time for a trial, its up to the attorneys to decide what evidence to put forth in court. However, the forensic scientist’s work is still not done! They are often called to testify as expert witnesses. Testifying in court as an expert witness can be very difficult. Forensic scientists must find a way to communicate accurate information on a complex subject in a way that is easy for the judge and/or jury to understand. They must also figure out how to explain the gory, upsetting aspects of criminal forensics delicately.

As you can see, forensic scientists have a very challenging job. The skill, knowledge and time required to fulfill their role is immense. On top of all this, it is very important that they follow the golden rule of forensics: remain objective in all things. Paul Brouardel, one of the first forensic pathologists, explains the rule’s importance perfectly:

“If the law has made you a witness, remain a man of science; you have no victim to avenge, no guilty or innocent person to convict or save. You must bear testimony within the limits of science.” –Paul Bouardel
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