SUPA Forensic Science Name _________________
Chapter 1: Science Introduction period: _____________
What is Forensic Science?
1. The use of the _______________________________ in the legal arena.
2. The transfer of ______________________________ to aid the legal
3. The use of science and technology to provide _____________________.
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional character of _________
Early Forensic Scientists
Orfila – 1814 father of forensic _______________________
Bertillion- 1879 system of personal identification by body measurements
Galton – 1892 first definitive study of _______________________
Lattes – 1915 devised method for determining __________________ in
dried blood stain
Goddard – US Army colonel used ________________________ for bullets
Osborn – 1910 –___________________________ identification
Gross – 1893 published handbook for ___________________________
Locard – 1910 –first workable ___________________ in France; Exchange
Supreme Court Decisions 1960’s
Emphasis on ____________________________ rights and advising
criminals upon arrest virtually eliminated confessions as a routine
Increase in drug investigations
All illicit drug seizures require __________________________ and
New Jersey State Police Laboratory stats
–1968 – 9000 drug cases
–1987 – 21,000 drug cases
–1996 – 29,000 drug cases
Basic Full Service Crime Lab
Physical science Unit – ______________________________________
Biology Unit – serology, _______________________, dried blood,
_____________, hair fibers, wood, _________________
Firearms Unit – all ________________ and ____________________
Document Examination Unit – _________________, writing identification
Photography Unit – examine and record evidence using _____________,
UV and x-ray
Toxicology Unit – ________________________
Latent Fingerprint Unit-
Voice Print Analysis Unit –sound ______________________ examine
Evidence Collection Unit-
Forensic Pathology – ______________________ and ________________
determine causes of sudden, unnatural, violent death
Forensic Anthropology – identification and examination of human
Forensic Odontology – identify victims from ___________________, bite
Forensic Entomology – study ______________, carrion flies and maggots
Forensic Psychiatry – study __________________ patterns of criminals
and determine ________________________ to stand trial
Forensic Engineering – accident ____________________, causes/origins
of fires and explosions, structural failure
What is Evidence?
Evidence is information that can and should influence the _____________
________________about a specific legal question (e.g., guilt or innocence;
liable or not).
Evidence must be ____________________ to the question at hand and must
be more probative than prejudicial on that issue.
How is Forensic Evidence Used?
To _______________________ that a particular person or thing was
at a particular place at a specific time.
To establish that something was done ________________: e.g., this
bullet came from this weapon, this cutter sliced this tape, this letter
was typed on this printer, or this glass came from this window.
To establish a _____________________ between people: e.g., that
these people are siblings, or that this person is likely to be the child of
Locard’s Exchange Principle
Every contact leaves a trace!
Whenever two objects come together they must affect each other in some
way. Something is likely to be exchanged between them!
Principle of Individuality
Two objects may be indistinguishable, but no two objects are ever
_____________________. Things can at least be put in classes or even
individualized in useful ways
Science & The Law: Tests for Admissibility
Federal Rules of Evidence
Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923)
“…scientific evidence will not be admissible unless it has been generally
accepted by the scientific community…”
Prongs 1, 2 & 3 of Frye
Has the underlying scientific theory gained general acceptance in the
Has the scientific technique gained general acceptance in the pertinent
Castro/Frye – “Were proper test procedures employed in this case?”
What Constitutes General Acceptance?
General Use of the _____________________
In the fields of genetics and molecular biology
In forensic applications (including paternity)
Concordance of results demonstrated by proficiency testing
General Acceptance –Further Defined
General means in a reasonably inclusive manner _________________
A party need not prove absolute validity of the techniques in
producing novel (new) scientific evidence before it can be admitted.
The mere existence of a debate does not require exclusion of the
evidence. People v. Fishback, 851 P2nd 844 (Colo.1993)
Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Gate keeping Responsibility: In order to admit scientific evidence, the trial
court judge must find that the opinion offered is relevant and that the basis
for that opinion is more likely than not valid and reliable.
Four non-exclusive factors:
- Testability (and results of testing);
- Peer review and publication;
- Error rate;
- General Acceptance.
- Qualifications (depth and breadth) of the expert.
Daubert asks the question, “Does it work?”; where Frye asks “Do
scientists like and use it?”