Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction
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Due to its connections to violent crime and ingenious detective work, forensic science is a subject of endless fascination to the general public. A criminal case can often hinge on a piece of evidence such as a hair, a blood trace, a bit of saliva on a cigarette butt, or the telltale mark of a tire tread. High profile cases have stoked this interest in recent years and some of the most popular shows on television--such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and its raft of spin-offs--attest to the enduring popularity of forensic science as a form of grisly entertainment. This Very Short Introduction looks at the nature of forensic science, examining what forensic science is, how it is used in the investigation of crime, how crime scenes are managed, how forensic scientists work, the different techniques used to recover evidence, and the range of methods available for analysis. It also considers how forensic science serves the criminal justice system and the challenges of communicating complex scientific evidence in a court of law.
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specific hypotheses for scientific testing are essential. Leadership, communication, and teamwork are also central to ensure the right experts are addressing the relevant questions, at the scene and in the laboratory. 32 Chapter 4 Laboratory examination: search, recovery, and analysis We now move from the crime scene to the laboratory and the various stages of recovering, documenting, and analysing evidence. Some of the principles and processes will now be familiar to us as they reflect those
alert to potential evidence that may be unforeseen. The examiner must take an intelligent, inquiring approach which is suitably detached and dispassionate. It is reasonable to have general expectations - we know that individuals involved in violence where there has been bloodshed may get blood on their clothing - but we should not be motivated by such expectations in individual cases to achieve any particular outcome. We proceed from observation to analysis and then by inference to
criticism of some of the methodologies used and the dangers these may present. It is likely that we will see significant changes in procedures in this area which will require large-scale alterations to working practices and the training of those involved. This is necessary for them to keep pace with developments in other areas of forensic science and maintain their essential contribution to the investigation and prosecution of crime. 88 Chapter 7 Trace evidence In many ways, the concept of
Diacetylmorphine is a synthetic derivative of morphine belonging to the family of drugs known as opiates. Opiates depress brain function, and their main medicinal purpose is sedation and pain relief, but they also produce a feeling of calmness and well-being. Opiates are highly addictive, resulting in dependence and tolerance, which further exacerbate the drug habit and frequently necessitate criminal activity to feed it. Forensic Science phenethylamine and which can be synthesized by a number
complete. Nor does it need to be, since the law does not expect the answer to every question but proof of the key facts and elimination of reasonable alternatives. And these facts will be rendered in an adversarial legal process in which there are always two sides to any story: there is always an alternative explanation, always some missing piece of the problem. Investigations and trials are Forensic Science contingent, restricted by the rules of evidence and procedure and limited by time and