Forensic Science in the 21st Century

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Forensic Science in the 21st Century
Gertrude West
Forensic Science and Psychological Profiling /CJA590
May 30, 2011
Edward Baker

Forensic Science in the 21st Century
Forensic science has various influences on crime, investigation and the people that are involved. Forensic science has a connection with the courts to ensure crimes are getting solved and justice is being served to those that commit crimes. With the help of forensic science, crimes are being solved from a human and technological aspect. This paper highlights numerous discussions on how forensic science plays a role in criminal justices system, security, media and the law. Forensic science is a separate entity from the police; although a large portion of the work is obtains through law enforcement. Forensic science is a recognizable component of policing during criminal investigation. The successful resolution from a crime scene involves preventing the site from being contaminated. This helps assures a great deal of gathering and interpreting evidence that could lead to an accurate interpretation of the event. The advances in technology are being applied to forensic science; a field in which technical is achieved by many factors such as including training, experience, continued education, and scientific methodology (NYSP, 2007). Forensic Science continues to develop in the 21st Century. It blends science and technology that has been useful for law enforcement to solve crimes and prosecute criminals. Forensic sciences in criminal investigations include but are not limited to: bioscience, trace evidence, toxicology, photography, documentation, forensic imagery, forensic ID and SAFIS, evidence receiving, drug chemistry and ballistics.  In addition, private forensic laboratories, such as Applied Forensics, are contracted and employed to assist in the judicial process in the analysis of documents in question and handwriting analysis (Davis, 2006). One of the biggest things that criminal investigators and officers will look for at a crime scene is DNA. DNA can be gathered not just only through blood but through any type of fluids as well. According to Blackman (2011), “DNA analysis is one of the main tools used in forensic science to identify individuals. Crime laboratories undertaking DNA typing are typically concerned with comparing DNA evidence with known standards. The evidence is DNA samples collected from a crime scene and these are cross-matched against DNA swabs taken from anyone connected to that scene, be that victims, defendants or elimination ‘known’s’. The elimination known’s can come from the victims’ relatives, for example, or, if it’s a shared house, from tenants. The comparisons are made, not only to generate and compile evidence against suspects, but also to exclude people from the investigation.” The development and applications of forensic scince suppors operation aimed at prevention, disruption, and prosecution of terrorism. The discipline helps support intelligence and investigation. Thiss component is now incorporated into homeland Security, A pattern of legal instances benefiting from this type of scientific study would be medical malpractice litigation, probate proceedings, complex and commercial legal action and contract lawsuits. According to Shelton (2010), “Forensic Science in Court explores the legal implications of forensic science--an increasingly important and complex part of the justice system. Judge Donald Shelton provides an accessible overview of the legal issues, from the history of evidence in court, to gatekeeper judges determining what evidence can be allowed, to the CSI effect in juries.” The media has the potential of affecting the way people think. People disregard their perception based on scenarios presented. Popular media representation of forensic science and influential presence on the public’s opinion on justice-related issues, the effect that impeccable synchronicity of the...
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