Criminal Profiling in Court

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All societies in the world are troubled by crime everyday. The general public has become very fascinated by criminals and fearful of criminal behavior. In the fight against crime, criminal profiling has been developed to aid the FBI in the capture of criminals. At the heart of criminal profiling is a combination of psychological principles and crime scene analysis. In combining both the psychological principles and crime scene analysis, it is possible to identify the likely characteristics of a perpetrator. Although this technique is very helpful, there appears to be many contradictions and disagreements when it comes to the two types of criminal profiling. The two types of criminal profiling, inductive and deductive, are very different in many ways. The most commonly used type of criminal profiling would be deductive, due to the fact that it requires an individual to have a specialized education and training in the field at question.

Criminal Profiling 3

Criminal Profiling in Court

Criminal profiling is a general term that describes any process of inferring distinctive personality characteristics of individuals responsible for committing criminal acts from physical and/or behavioral evidence. The FBI defines criminal investigative analysis as an investigative process that identifies the major personality and behavioral characteristics of the offender based on the crimes he or she has committed. Profiles are known to work best when the offender displays obvious psychopathology, such as sadistic torture, postmortem mutilation or pedophilia. A profile can offer helpful information that includes the offender’s general age range, racial identity, ideas about the modus operandi, estimates about living situation, education level, travel patterns, the possibility of a criminal or psychiatric record, and probable psychological traits. When criminal profilers examine materials in the trial phase of a case, they are forensic examiners whether they care to be or not. The duties are profiler include, but are not limited to evaluating the criminal act itself, evaluating the specifics of the crime scene, analyzing the victim, evaluating the preliminary police reports, evaluating the medical examiner’s autopsy report, developing the profile with critical offender characteristics and investigating suggestions on the construction of the profile. In completing these duties, there are two types of profiling one could follow. The most common and useful form of profiling is known as deductive profiling. Deductive profiling concerns itself with the particular Criminal Profiling 4

behavioral evidence of a case as the physical evidence has established it. The process of interpreting forensic evidence, including such inputs as crime scene photos, autopsy reports/photos, and a thorough study of individual offender victimology. Deductive profiling is deduced from the careful forensic examination and behavioral reconstruction of a single offender’s crime scene. There are many advantages of using deductive profiling as opposed to inductive profiling. Deductive profiling requires specialized education and training in forensic science, crime reconstruction, and wound pattern analysis. Because it thoroughly explores victimology and the nature of the interaction between the victim(s), crime scene(s), and the offender, it can very pointedly demonstrate an individual offender’s motivations and in even the most bizarre senseless offenses. One major advantage of deductive profiling is that is examines behaviors of individual offenders as they occur over time. By examining the behaviors over time, it allows for change and growth to arrive and the analysis is recompiled back into the criminal profile. Along with the advantages are the disadvantages of deductive profiling. It is not a quick fix or a cure all. The technique requires a great deal of effort and multidisciplinary skill on the part of each...