Forensic Science in Criminal Justice

Criminals have been giving the police a hard time in controlling their behaviors for a long time. The criminals seem to be always ahead of the police in terms of the weapons they use and the manner in which they erase the evidence, leaving the police with little or no option of getting the criminals. Technology improvement has played a very significant role in the society. The use of technology in dealing with the criminal activities came into play mostly in the 20th century, though it had started earlier.

Forensic science has turned out to be a very important scientific tool in helping the police to unravel the criminal activities by collecting evidence that could have not been easily found on the normal scale. In the past, the courts depended on evidences given verbally, which was not to be relied upon, hence received a lot of challenges and rebuttal. However, since forensic science was used, the facts that were not easy to conclusively prove have been easy to prove. It is the duty of the police to conduct thorough investigation and come up with evidence to take a suspect to court.

In many instances, the police have been accused of torturing the victims as a way of making them confess to the crimes they did not even commit. This has in many cases led to the conviction of the innocent while the letting the real culprits free (Kiely, 2000). However, with the use of forensic science, the issue of torturing the victims so as to get the evidence has been a thing of the past in many areas. Furthermore, justice is very important and any person who commits a crime should be punished for it.

However, if the police are not able to provide enough evidence, the defendants can use a good team of attorneys to defend themselves and walk away free. Any person will use all means possible to see that they have maintained their freedom. Therefore, even with the scientific method, if it has some loopholes, the defendants can use that to escape from justice (Edwards, 2005). The use of forensic science has become a very prominent issue in the past few years. There are many television programs that have been showing how the forensic science is used.

This is part of what has contributed to the science being prominence. Furthermore, some high profile cases that the public has been keenly following through the media have indicated the importance of the scientific methods in unraveling the crimes. The media has been playing many fictitious movies showing how the police officers have been unraveling and solving criminal cases. This has mostly given confidence to the public on the way they perceive the forensic science applications.

Most of the movies take an average of one hour, which might however make the public feel that these cases can be solved that easily. In actual sense, forensic science evidence can take a very long time to gather and come up with the correct evidence. The investigators have to be very cautious on the mode in which they carry out their findings as certain criminal activities may carry corporal punishment. Therefore, if a wrong investigation is carried out, the result may be to send the wrong person to the death row while leaving the real offender to walk freely.

The way the media has been portraying the police and the use of forensic science has played a significant role in creating a good public image between the police and the public. On the other hand, because of the job that the police are involved with, it has created a very difficult relationship with the public, and the media makes it worse in the manner it portrays the police in a fictitious and factual manner (Edwards, 2005). Rape instances have been always difficult cases to handle.

In the 19th century, the police and the courts depended on the victim’s evidence in proving that rape did actually take place. This was usually a very difficult situation especially for the victim when they were asked to narrate what they had gone through over and over again. In the 20th century, rape cases depended on the medical reports as a way of proving the crime. This was also not a very much reliable method. However, the 21st has seen cases where it does not need the victim to go and pick the assailant from a parade.

The tissue typing can be used to prove unequivocally that actually the accused had sexual knowledge of the complainant. Therefore, with forensic science, the rape victim can be proven conclusively, as long as he has been identified. The victim must thus be able to give a good description of the assailant so that he can be sought by the police since the forensic science can only prove if they are guilty or not, but it can not bring the suspect forth (Atlas, 2008).

In conclusion , although it has been argued that forensic science has been widely used in combating crimes in the 21st century, there are many other places in the world that do not have the capability of using the system. However, in the areas that technology has been widely embraced, it has played a significant role in controlling crimes. Since the criminals have always been ahead of the police, they might just find some new other ways of beating the police in the forensic science, which calls for the scientists to come up with other skills that have to be applied by the forensic scientists.

Reference: Atlas R. I (2008): 21st Century Security and CPTED: Designing for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Crime Prevention; ISBN 1420068075, CRC Press, Edwards C (2005): Changing Policing Theories for 21st Century Societies: For 21st Century Societies; ISBN 1862875375, Federation Press, Kiely T. F (2000): Forensic Evidence: Science and the Criminal Law; ISBN 0849318963, CRC Press, 2000