History of Forensic Science

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CJE 1640 – Week 2 Individual Work

Francis Henry Galton had a major contribution to forensic science. He was the first person to use fingerprints as groundwork in criminal cases. It was his study of details in prints to compare them with others. He also provided the first workable fingerprint classification system (Unknown, n.d.).

The “father of forensic toxicology” is Mathieu Orifila. He was the first great 19th-century advocate of forensic medicine (Unknown, 2012). He worked to make the study of chemicals a routine part of forensics. He is recognized as one of the first people to use a microscope to assess blood and semen stains to help solve crimes.

Two major contributions made by Hans Gross were; 1), he wrote the first article describing the application of scientific disciplines to the field of criminal investigation. 2), he described how the fields of chemistry, microscopy, physics, and fingerprinting could assist in criminal investigations (Kriminol, 2007).

Dr. Karl Landsteiner discovered that blood can be sorted into different types (Saferstein, 2009). These types are now known as A, B, AB, and O. Louis Lattes created a procedure for determining which group a dried blood stain would be classified in.

Dr. Edmond Locard was the first person to apply the principles of forensic science to a working crime laboratory. He was also a developer in forensic science. He became known as the Sherlock Holmes of France. Dr. Locard formulated the basic principal of forensic science. Safferstein defines Locard’s exchange principal as; “Whenever two objects come into contact with one another, materials are exchanged between them” (p.11) (Saferstein, 2009). In other words; every contact (physically or materially) leaves some type of evidence that the interaction took place.

Dr. Walter C. McCrone made significant contributions to forensic science by using the microscope to examine evidence in criminal and civil cases (Saferstein, 2009). He was able...
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