The use of forensic science helps the police solve crimes, convict the guilty, and exonerate the innocent. Forensic science is part of almost every criminal investigation from the discovery, collection, preservation, and analysis of physical evidence to the conviction of the guilty. Forensic science is the application of science to law. In its broadest sense, forensic science becomes part of almost every law (Trimm). There is no denying the power of fingerprints and forensic DNA evidence to exculpate innocent suspects and incriminate the guilty, potentially assisting with certain detection of criminal offences.
However, these forensic identification techniques may also in late-modern society, precautions are increasingly taken that do not attempt to ‘balance’ risks, but seek to avoid risks (at the cost of potentially creating other risks). the identification and verification of the identity of the suspects is not the only purpose for which bodily samples are demanded by law-enforcement authorities but for proof of commission of a crime (McCartney).
In Europe, LIVESCAN consoles enable officers to determine the identity of suspects (who have fingerprints stored on the national fingerprint database, IDENT1), circumventing the need to rely upon the suspect’s honesty: these will ensure that anyone arrested and wanted in connection with previous offences is quickly identified. More than 100,000 records of arrests are made, and 80,000 scenes-of-crime marks are searched every month, with on average 4,000 ‘identifications’ made in an automated process which has dramatically shortened the time taken to perform such tasks. Similar advances are also available in U.
S. such as the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) or the recently created and rapidly expanding CODIS system, linking American state and federal DNA data banks (Kiely). Criminal investigation and forensic science The objectives of any crime scene investigation are the recognition, collection, interpretation, and reconstruction of all the important physical evidence at a crime scene. The forensic pathologist who works at a forensic laboratory examines the physical evidence to provide the investigator with information necessary for the case to be solved.
The basis of scientific crime scene investigation is formed through the integration of the crime scene investigation with the forensic examination of the scene’s physical evidence. These are examples of types of information obtained from the examination of physical evidence in a crime investigation: Information on the Corpus Delicti – this is the crucial facts or data of an investigation – the physical evidence, the pattern of the evidence, and the laboratory examination results of the evidence.
Information of the Modus Operandi – usually, most of the criminals repeat their behavior and a certain behavior eventually becomes a criminal’s “signature” or preferred method of operation. Linkage of persons, scenes, and objects – the Locard exchange principle explains that “whenever two objects come into contact, a mutual exchange of matter will take place between them. ” There would always be a linkage between the suspects and the victims and this linkage is the most important and the most common accomplished by physical evidence in crime investigations.
The linkage between victims and suspects to particular items and scenes can also be accomplished by use of the physical evidence. Proving or disproving witness statements – credibility is a very important aspect of the crime investigation that can be acquired from witnesses, victims, and suspects. The presence or absence of certain types of physical evidence will be valuable in the determination of the accuracy or validity of their testimonials. Crime scene patterns of patterned physical evidence (bloodstain patterns, fingerprints, gunshots residues, etc. ) are prerequisite for determination of credibility.