Criminal Investigation

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Unit5: Midterm Essay

CJ21-Criminal Investigation
Professor Yocum
September 28th, 2010

Throughout the years the type of crimes and amount of crimes committed has changed significantly and has played a major role in the American society. What is crime? As defined by Frank Schmalleger (2007) “crime is a conduct in violation of the criminal laws of a state, federal government or a local jurisdiction where there is no legally acceptable justification or excuse” (p.7). Criminal investigators have the responsibility of pursuing new ways to create a safer environment for the community in which they serve by gathering and analyzing evidence found at a crime scene. It is very important to understand the methods, mindset and sources of information behind an investigators strategy towards the ultimate goal of a successful prosecution of an offender. What is the scientific method? The scientific method consists of six different aspects; first one needs to identify the problem through examination. Secondly, one should form a hypothesis about what has happened from what they may know about the victim or what they have been able to gather from witnesses. Thirdly, collect data through observation and experimenting by this I mean to search for relevancy of a suspect’s background and witness statements. Next we need to compare the hypothesis and data compiled by evaluating the evidence found. If the data supports the hypothesis then a search for additional evidence may be needed. Lastly, one should draw a conclusion based off of all the evidence found; if there is probable cause this then would justify an arrest. As a part of the scientific method, the method of inquiry consists of two general ideas; reconstructing the past and discovering or creating new knowledge, this is done through observation. Some questions may derive from that including who, what, where, when, why and how. By answering these questions it helps an investigator to identify a suspect of a crime. An...
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