Module Three Text Questions 3.05

Review Questions

1. WHAT ARE THE FOUR TYPES OF EVIDENCE IN A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION?

  • PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
  • DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
  • DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE
  • TESTIMONY

2. WHAT ARE INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS? GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF AN INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTIC?

  • EVIDENCE WITH CHARACTERISTICS THAT CAN BE TRACED BACK TO AN INDIVIDUAL ITEM OR
  • PERSON
  • FINGERPRINT PATTERNS
  • TREAD AND WEAR PATTERNS ON SHOES
  • BLOOD OR SEMEN SAMPLES
  • FIREARM MARKINGS
  • MARKINGS ON A FIRED CARTRIDGE

3. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS AND CLASS CHARACTERISTICS?

  • CLASS CHARACTERISTICS PAIR A CHARACTERISTIC TO A WHOLE GROUP, WHILE INDIVIDUAL
  • CHARACTERISTICS PAIR A CHARACTERISTIC TO A SINGLE PERSON.

4. WHAT ARE PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES? GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF EACH.

  • PHYSICAL PROPERTIES ARE THOSE THAT DESCRIBE A SUBSTANCE OR OBJECT WITHOUT REFERRING TO ANY OTHER SUBSTANCE
  • WEIGHT, SIZE, COLOR, AND VOLUME
  • CHEMICAL PROPERTIES ARE THOSE THAT DESCRIBE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SUBSTANCE REACTS WITH ANOTHER SUBSTANCE
  • WHEN THE DRUG HEROIN COMES INTO CONTACT WITH THE MARQUIS REAGENT CHEMICAL IT TURNS PURPLE

5. WHAT DO FORENSIC SCIENTISTS DO TO COLLECT AND PRESERVE SOIL SAMPLES?

  • WHEN COLLECTING A SOIL SAMPLE, FORENSIC SCIENTISTS TAKE THE ENTIRE SHOE IF IT HAS SOIL ON IT. THEY ALSO COLLECT SOIL SAMPLES FROM A 100 YARD RADIUS OF THE CRIME SCENE.
  • IN ORDER TO PRESERVE SOIL SAMPLES, FORENSIC SCIENTISTS MUST PLACE THE OBJECT IN A BAG SO THAT ANY SOIL THAT FALLS OFF THE OBJECT WILL STILL BE COLLECTED

Critical Thinking Questions

1. WHY DO YOU THINK FORENSIC SCIENTISTS ARE SO CAREFUL THAT THE TESTS THEY DO ARE SENSITIVE, REPRODUCIBLE, AND SPECIFIC? WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF THEY WERE LESS CAREFUL ABOUT THIS?

  • THEY ARE SO CAREFUL ABOUT PRODUCING TESTS THAT ARE SENSITIVE, REPRODUCIBLE, AND SPECIFIC BECAUSE IF THEY TAKE SLOPPY TESTS, THEY MIGHT MESS UP THE ENTIRE INVESTIGATION. REPRODUCIBLE TESTS, FOR EXAMPLE, ALLOW OTHER SCIENTISTS TO TEST THE SAME EVIDENCE TO SEE IF THE RESULTS MATCH UP.

2. WHICH TYPE OF EVIDENCE DO YOU THINK IS MOST USEFUL IN AN INVESTIGATION? WHY?

  • I THINK PHYSICAL EVIDENCE IS THE MOST USEFUL IN AN INVESTIGATION BECAUSE IT IS THE MOST BLACK AND WHITE OUT OF ALL THE TYPES OF EVIDENCE. IT’S ONE THING TO LISTEN TO A TESTIMONY OR LOOK AT DOCUMENTS, BUT IT’S ANOTHER THING TO HAVE THE SUSPECT’S DNA AT THE CRIME SCENE. IT’S HARD TO ARGUE WITH THAT.

3. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT FORENSIC SCIENTISTS CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR CLASS CHARACTERISTICS GIVEN

THEIR LIMITATIONS?

  • FORENSIC SCIENTISTS CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR CLASS CHARACTERISTICS BECAUSE IF YOU CAN NARROW A SUSPECT DOWN TO HIS/HER FAMILY, IT MAKES SOLVING THE CRIME SO MUCH EASIER. WHY NOT?

4. WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES IN COLLECTING AND PRESERVING

IMPRESSIONS? WHY?

  • THE WEATHER COULD BE AN ISSUE. IF YOU WERE TRYING TO COLLECT SOIL IMPRESSIONS AND IT STARTED RAINING, THE FOOTPRINT COULD BE LOST.
  • ANOTHER ISSUE IS GETTING THE IMPRESSION WITHOUT ACCIDENTLY MESSING IT UP. I PRESUME IMPRESSIONS ARE VERY FRAGILE.

5. IF YOU WERE ON A JURY, DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD EXPECT INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE EVIDENCE? WHY OR WHY NOT? WHAT EFFECTS MIGHT IT HAVE IF INDIVIDUALS EXPECT TO HAVE INDIVIDUALS CHARACTERISTICS PRESENTED?

  • IF I WERE IN A JURY, I WOULD HOPE THAT THE EVIDENCE HAS INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS. IF SO, THE VERDICT WOULD BE EASIER TO DECIDE BECAUSE INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS TIE A PERSON TO THE CRIME.
  • I’M NOT SURE I’D EXPECT INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS TO BE PRESENTED. IF THEY WERE, I KNOW IT’D DEFINITELY MAKE ME BELIEVE THE DEFENDANT IS GUILTY.