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Week 1
Week One- C day
Bell Ringer!
  What do you expect to learn in this
  What are some things you really want
  to learn about Forensics?
  Are you considering a career in
  Forensics? What type? (CSI, Toxicology,
  What do you think Forensic Science is?
   You have an interest in Forensics
   You watch CSI, Bones, Criminal Minds, or other forensic
   You like to read or read about mysteries, real or fiction
   You have taken Biology, Chemistry and at least one Law
   Enforcement Class
   You are considering a career in forensics or Law
   You needed an extra science credit and this class fit

Bell Ringer Review- Let’s talk about what you know:

   What do you expect to learn in this class?
   What are some things you really want to learn about Forensics?
   Are you considering a career in Forensics? What type? (CSI, Toxicology, etc?)
   What do you think Forensic Science is?
  1. Punctuality: Be on time!
  2. Preparedness: Be prepared to work and
  learn! (This means bring your supplies and
  binders to class!!!)
  3. Respect: Be respectful of your teacher,
  your classmates, and your environment.
  4. Motivation: Give your best effort on all that
  you do! (“Do, or do not. There is no try.”)
  5. Clarification: Ask questions when you’re
  confused or need help!
 Due to the graphic nature
 of violent crime, you may
 be exposed to some
 gruesome images and
 topics, either real or re-
 created. I expect you
 have a mature, scientific
 attitude about everything
 presented in the course.
  3 Ring Binder
  Package of Dividers
  Notebook Paper
  Something to write with
  Extra Credit for:
Grading Policy
  Nothing new here:
     25%   Test
     20%    Presentations, labs, papers
     40%    Classwork/Homework (Binder Grade)
     15%   Six Weeks Grade

  Binders are graded on Quiz Days
  online on Quizlet
  Study Mode and
  Test Mode
  Do it as many
  times as it takes!
Tutoring hours:
  M/W/Friday 8:30 AM-9:00 AM
     Other times by appointment
  You must obtain an official
  Sunset tutoring pass from Mrs.
  Schwartz or her substitute to
  guarantee entry to the science
  wing before 8:25 or after
     These times are subject to change.
      Mrs. Schwartz does not guarantee
      availability during the designated
      tutoring time.
For your first 100…
     Post a comment to the forensic science
     Search Sunset Forensic Science
     Join with password: sunsetrules
Class 2

What do you think the definition of
Forensic Science is?
What do you think are some essential
skills for a forensic scientist to have?
Forensic Science- What is it?
     “Forensic” – Stems from Latin word for
If you lived in Rome and you wanted to discuss
Current news or have a legal issue decided, you
Would head to the Forum, a public meeting place.

In the case of a criminal or civil dispute, you would
Each state your case before a panel of citizens…
You would bring your case “before the Forum”.

    Therefore- Forensic Science is……
      The application of Scientific discipline to Law
       (our version of a forum is the court room)
Criminalistics vs Criminology

includes the psychological angle, studying
  the crime scene for motive, traits, and
  behavior that will help to interpret the
 the scientific examination of physical
  evidence for legal purposes.
Scientific Method in Forensics
  Observe a problem or questioned evidence
  and collect objective data.
  Consider a hypothesis or possible solution.
  Examine, test, and then analyze the
  Determine the significance of the evidence.
  Formulate a theory based on evaluation of
  the significance of the evidence
Forensic Science- What it’s NOT
What Forensics Work Looks Like

   Watch Forensic Science Technician Video
Top 5 Misconceptions
  #5: Time of Death can be precisely calculated
  down to a 2 hour window
     Both the time of death and the postmortem
      interval (time since death) cannot be determined
      with 100% accuracy
      Even less accurate when a body is found in
      advanced state of decomposition or is recovered
      from fire, water, or ice.
     Time of death and PMI are given as estimates,
      and can vary from hours to days, or from months
      to years, depending on each particular case.
Top 5 Misconceptions
 #4: Fingerprints susceptible to testing and
 identification are always found
     Finding identifiable fingerprints that can be collected and are
      of a high enough quality to do an automated search are rare
     Normally fingerprint comparison must be done by ‘hand’
     The on-demand fingerprint scan(Eagle Eye- The movie in
      which a burnt body fingerprint had a match) is rare to use
      and hard to get results from.
Top 5 Misconceptions
  #3: The laboratory personnel examines
  evidence as soon as it arrives and gets results
  in hours
      Chain of Custody, the procedures that follow…
      Can take months before time permits an examination of the
       evidence due to back logs, lack of qualified personnel, and
       quality control procedures
      Positive and Negative Controls have to be taken into
       consideration before starting an examination
      Numerous drugs, botanicals, chemicals can be present at
       any given crime scene and many instruments can’t identify
       every one.
Top 5 Misconceptions
  #2: One person can examine all types of
  evidence (and examine the scene, interrogate
  the suspects, and make the arrest…..)
      There are few ‘generalists’ in today’s forensics field.
      The expertise required for each section of forensics
       sometimes requires one piece of evidence to be examined
       by more than one individual
      The evidence at hand needs to be examined sometimes in
       different departments of the laboratory
      The scientist in the lab usually have no contact with the
       suspects and never interrogate or make arrests
Top 5 Misconceptions
  #1: The fully equipped, high tech crime lab
      Forensic labs in TV are always fully equipped with the most
       up to date technology
      Even the labs with the largest budgets cannot afford to have
       the same lab quality as the labs on TV dramas
      Shortages occur with building space, funds, equipment and
       proficient personnel
      A lot of the technology shown on TV is misrepresented,
       exaggerated or just does not exist
         Play Castle Clip
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
      Step one of the Scientific Method!
      Play Sherlock clip
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
  Not Squeamish
  The ability to be around dead people is a must. Also,
  forensic scientists can't be reluctant to dig through
  garbage or dirty laundry.
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
  Speak to the People
  Being able to explaining evidence to a jury in plain
  language is very important.
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
  They must be organized and time efficient because
  there is never just one case to handle. May handle
  10-40 cases at a time depending on size of
  department and case load.
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
  The forensic scientist usually has a degree in
  mathematics or one of the sciences, or sometimes
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
  Teach Others
  The forensic scientist must be able to teach the
  police and other people collecting and handling
  evidence at a crime scene how to do it properly.
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
  Logical Thinking
  It is important to be able to think through the
  evidence logically to reach a conclusion.
Skills of a Forensic Scientist
  Working With Others
  Being a team player is a necessary skill as well. The
  scientist will likely have assistants and work with law
  enforcement officers to build a case.

  Read more: Skills Needed to Be a Forensic Scientist |
Class 3
     When do you think forensics as a science
      was first used?
     What do you think is the most useful
      means of identification?
     History of Forensics
Then the Lord said to Cain,”Where is your
brother Abel?”He said,”I do not know; am
I my brother’s keeper?”And the Lord said
   “What have you done? Listen; your
 brother’s blood is crying out to me from
      the ground!”-Genesis 4:9-10
  Watch timeline video
Forensic Science- People to
     Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes stories
     Sherlock Holmes used trace evidence such as shoe and tire
      impressions, as well as fingerprints, ballistics and
      handwriting analysis, now known as questioned document
     Such evidence is used to test theories conceived by the police, for
      example, or by the investigator himself.
     All of the techniques advocated by Holmes later became reality,
      but were generally in their infancy at the time Conan Doyle was
     Holmes frequently complained of the way the crime scene had
      been contaminated by others, especially by the police,
      emphasizing the critical importance of maintaining its integrity, a
      now well-known feature of crime scene examination
Forensic Science- People to
 Mathieu Orfila
     Spanish born but did work in France
     Father of Forensic Toxicology
     (1814) published a Treatise on the detection of poisons

 Alphonse Bertillion
     French Scientist
     (1879) devised first system of person ID using a
      series of body measurements
     Devised the first crime scene kit –still used today
                •The Bertillion system
                relied on a detailed
                description and
                measurement of the
                •Eleven measurements
                were necessary.
                •These included height,
                reach, width of head, and
                length of foot.
The down fall of Anthropometry
 The down fall of Anthropometry occurred in 1903 at Leavenworth
 Federal Prison.
 A prisoner named Will West was brought to the prison and had his
 measurements taken.
 His measurements matched a prisoner already in the prison named
 William West.
 Despite the system there was no way to tell the two apart.
 The only noticeable difference between the two men was their
 Thus the Anthropometry was abandoned and the fingerprint (Henry)
 system was adopted.
Forensic Science- People to know
  Francis Galton
       British Scientist.
       (1892) published the book “Finger Prints”which contained the 1st
        statistical proof supporting the uniqueness of fingerprints.
       Laid the foundation of modern fingerprints.

  Hans Gross
       Lawyer and Judge in Austria
       (1893) Published the first treatise on applying science to criminal
       Started the forensic journal “Kriminologie”
 Karl Landsteiner
        (1901) Discovered human blood could be grouped into
       different categories (A, B, AB and O)
      1930 Won Nobel Prize
      1940 helped to discover the Rh factor in human blood

 Albert Osborn
      American Scientist.
      (1910) published the book “Questioned Documents.”
      The book became a primary reference for document examiners.
Forensic Science- People to know
  Edmond Locard
      (1910) set up the first Forensic Lab in Lyons, France
      Founder and Director of the Institute of Criminalistics @ the
       University of Lyons
      Formulated the Locard’s Exchange Principle….
         "It is impossible for a criminal to act, especially considering the
          intensity of a crime, without leaving traces of this presence."
     Locard’s Exchange Principle
    When a criminal comes in contact with an object or
     person, a cross-transfer of evidence occurs
    The criminal either removes something from the
     crime scene or leaves something behind
    Either way this exchange can link the criminal to the
     crime scene.
    It is this principle that is the foundation of the study
     of “trace evidence”.

Trace Evidence: evidence that
occurs when different objects
contact one another.
Locard Influenced by Sherlock
  In the 1904 story "The Adventure of Black
  Peter," after a student reports a lack of
  footprints at a crime scene, Holmes responds:
     "As long as the criminal remains upon two legs so
      long must there be some indentation, some
      abrasion, some trifling displacement which can be
      detected by the scientific researcher"
Forensic Science- People to know

   Leone Lattes
         (1915) devised a procedure by which dried bloodstains could be
         grouped as A, B, AB or O
        His procedure is still used today by some forensic scientists

     Calvin Goddard
         (1925) Described the use of the comparison microscope
         regarding firearms investigations.
        He is generally credited with the conception of the term "forensic
         In 1925 Established The Bureau of Forensic Ballistics, United
         States’ first independent criminological laboratory
Forensic Science- People to know
  Paul Kirk
      U.S. scientist that applied biochemistry to forensics
      1950 Head of the Crime Dept @ U of Cal school of
      1953 published “Crime Investigation”,a handbook for lab
Landmark Cases
 Frye v. United States –
     It provides that expert opinion based on a scientific
      technique is admissible only where the technique is
      generally accepted as reliable in the relevant scientific
         Discussed what is meant by a technique that is
          “generally accepted” by most of the scientific
         Ruled Polygraph tests were inadmissible.
Federal Rule of Evidence 702
 Purpose is to:
      Regulate the evidence that the jury may use to reach a verdict.
      Eliminate this distrust, and encourage admitting evidence in close
      Limit the kind of evidence they may receive or the purpose for
      which they may consider it.
 Rules center on a few basic ideas
     relevance,
     unfair surprise,
     efficiency,
     reliability, and
     overall fairness of the adversary process.
Landmark Cases
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, Inc.
 Ruling allows trial judge to be the gatekeeper, i.e. to
  decide who is and who is not an expert witness.

  The Daubert Test Replaced the Frye rule in 1993 by
  stating that scientific evidence must pass four tests
  before it can be admitted into evidence for a trial.
      Has the theory or technique been tested?
      Has the theory or technique been peer reviewed?
      What is the known or potential error rate and the existence
       and maintenance of standards controlling its operation?
      Has it has been accepted within a relevant scientific
Daubert in Texas
 Declined to simply adopt the Daubert factors.
 In any case involving a challenge to the reliability of expert
 testimony, the courts examine the following factors:
     The extent to which the theory has been or can be tested;
     The extent to which the technique relies upon a subjective
      interpretation by the expert;
     Whether the theory has been subject to publication and/or peer
     The technique’s potential rate of error;
     Whether the underlying theory or technique has been generally
      accepted as valid by the relevant scientific community; and
     The non-judicial uses that have been made of the theory or
      technique (i.e., was is developed simply for litigation?).
 Like Daubert, these factors are non-exclusive; the courts are
 allowed to look at any facts that it feels are relevant to its
 examination of the expert’s methodology.
Landmark Cases
 Brady v. Maryland               1963
 Ruled that all evidence that is favorable to an accused
 that has requested it must be presented and cannot
 be suppressed by the prosecution.
Landmark Cases
 Coppolino v. State –
    Recognized the admissibility of new techniques as long
     as they are based on scientifically valid principles and
 Kumho Tire v. Carmichael
    Brought to question that not all testimony given by
     experts is scientifically based;
    Instead it can be non-scientific technical evidence.
    Determined that the Daubert rule when determining
     reliability and relevancy can be "flexible" based on the
     occupation of the expert witness.
Landmark Cases

 People v. Castro      (1989)
 First case to challenge a DNA
 profile's admissibility.
    The court determined that DNA
     identification was accepted in the
     scientific community
    DNA tests could be conducted and
     allowed into evidence as long as
     they showed the blood on the
     defendant's watch was not his, even
     when tests could not show that the
     blood belonged to one of the
Landmark Cases
 Schwartz v. State                     1989
 Court refused to admit DNA results from a private forensic
 laboratory stating that the lab did not comply with established
 rules and guidelines for analyzing evidence.
 The Minnesota Supreme Court concluded that a defendant
 should be provided with the actual DNA sample(s) in order to
 reproduce the results but that it may not be possible because
 forensic samples are often so small that the entire sample is
 used for testing.
 “Consequently, access to the data, methodology, and actual
 results is crucial . . . for an independent expert review"
Quiz Next C Day!
Don’t forget to do Quizlet Vocabulary!

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