strengthening forensic science in the united states a path forward

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Strengthening Forensic Science In The United States

Author : National Research Council
ISBN : 9780309142397
Genre : Law
File Size : 42. 89 MB
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Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are needed in a number of forensic science disciplines to ensure the reliability of work, establish enforceable standards, and promote best practices with consistent application. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward provides a detailed plan for addressing these needs and suggests the creation of a new government entity, the National Institute of Forensic Science, to establish and enforce standards within the forensic science community. The benefits of improving and regulating the forensic science disciplines are clear: assisting law enforcement officials, enhancing homeland security, and reducing the risk of wrongful conviction and exoneration. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States gives a full account of what is needed to advance the forensic science disciplines, including upgrading of systems and organizational structures, better training, widespread adoption of uniform and enforceable best practices, and mandatory certification and accreditation programs. While this book provides an essential call-to-action for congress and policy makers, it also serves as a vital tool for law enforcement agencies, criminal prosecutors and attorneys, and forensic science educators.

Strengthening Forensic Science In The United States

Author : National Research Council
ISBN : 9780309131308
Genre : Law
File Size : 27. 84 MB
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Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are needed in a number of forensic science disciplines to ensure the reliability of work, establish enforceable standards, and promote best practices with consistent application. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward provides a detailed plan for addressing these needs and suggests the creation of a new government entity, the National Institute of Forensic Science, to establish and enforce standards within the forensic science community. The benefits of improving and regulating the forensic science disciplines are clear: assisting law enforcement officials, enhancing homeland security, and reducing the risk of wrongful conviction and exoneration. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States gives a full account of what is needed to advance the forensic science disciplines, including upgrading of systems and organizational structures, better training, widespread adoption of uniform and enforceable best practices, and mandatory certification and accreditation programs. While this book provides an essential call-to-action for congress and policy makers, it also serves as a vital tool for law enforcement agencies, criminal prosecutors and attorneys, and forensic science educators.

Wildlife Forensic Investigation

Author : John E. Cooper
ISBN : 9781482210033
Genre : Law
File Size : 90. 73 MB
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Wildlife forensics is the application of forensic science to the conservation and protection of non-domesticated animals, both in the wild and in captivity. Providing an in-depth introduction to this rapidly evolving field, Wildlife Forensic Investigation: Principles and Practice also chronicles aspects of the history of management, conservation, and environmental protection, with an emphasis on their global importance in the twenty-first century. The book examines the crucial role of wildlife forensic investigation with regard to live animals, dead animals and samples and covers national, regional, and international legislation. While the text particularly focuses on forensic science as it relates to wild animals, it also includes mention of plants and habitats because of their relevance to conservation. The book discusses animal welfare as well as the damage that can be inflicted on humans and property by wildlife. Offering access to sound evidence based on good science and obtained using the best available practices, the book is enhanced by case studies from experts who describe some of their own work. This resource is essential for those involved in a range of endeavours, including investigating wildlife crime, identifying animal remains, ascertaining the circumstances of death of wild species, and other legal proceedings and activities concerning wildlife. The forensic skills described in this book can be applied to a wide range of activities (not necessarily involving the legal process), including environmental impact assessments, insurance claims, governmental and other enquiries, checking of trading standards and the inspection of (for instance) pet-shops, animal boarding establishments, and zoological collections. The authors point out that one of the most important requirements of those persons involved in wildlife forensic work is to retain an open mind. Such personnel should also be conscious of new developments and evolving techniques and be able to anticipate situations where their investigative and scientific skills might be used to advantage—so-called "horizon scanning". Examples of these are given.

Dna Technology In Forensic Science

Author : Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science
ISBN : 9780309045872
Genre : Science
File Size : 23. 70 MB
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Matching DNA samples from crime scenes and suspects is rapidly becoming a key source of evidence for use in our justice system. DNA Technology in Forensic Science offers recommendations for resolving crucial questions that are emerging as DNA typing becomes more widespread. The volume addreses key issues: Quality and reliability in DNA typing, including the introduction of new technologies, problems of standardization, and approaches to certification. DNA typing in the courtroom, including issues of population genetics, levels of understanding among judges and juries, and admissibility. Societal issues, such as privacy of DNA data, storage of samples and data, and the rights of defendants to quality testing technology. Combining this original volume with the new update--The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence--provides the complete, up-to-date picture of this highly important and visible topic. This volume offers important guidance to anyone working with this emerging law enforcement tool: policymakers, specialists in criminal law, forensic scientists, geneticists, researchers, faculty, and students.

Forensic Science Evidence

Author : Donald E. Shelton
ISBN : 1593325177
Genre : Law
File Size : 70. 41 MB
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Shelton describes the startling questions that have arisen about the reliability of many forms of scientific evidence which were traditionally regarded as reliable and have been routinely admitted to prove guilt. The exonerations resulting from the development of DNA have exposed the lack of truswortiness of much of the "scientific" evidence that was used to convict people who turned out to be innocent. The Congressionally commissioned report of the National Academy of Sciences documented the lack of scientific basis in many of these areas. Nevertheless, Shelton discloses that many courts continue to routinely admit such evidence in criminal cases, in spite of the obligation of judges to be the "gatekeepers" of forensic science evidence. He explores reasons for that phenomenon and describes whether and how it might change in the future.

Failed Evidence

Author : David A. Harris
ISBN : 9780814744666
Genre : Law
File Size : 37. 46 MB
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With the popularity of crime dramas like CSI focusing on forensic science, and increasing numbers of police and prosecutors making wide-spread use of DNA, high-tech science seems to have become the handmaiden of law enforcement. But this is a myth,asserts law professor and nationally known expert on police profiling David A. Harris. In fact, most of law enforcement does not embrace science—it rejects it instead, resisting it vigorously. The question at the heart of this book is why. »» Eyewitness identifications procedures using simultaneous lineups—showing the witness six persons together,as police have traditionally done—produces a significant number of incorrect identifications. »» Interrogations that include threats of harsh penalties and untruths about the existence of evidence proving the suspect’s guilt significantly increase the prospect of an innocent person confessing falsely. »» Fingerprint matching does not use probability calculations based on collected and standardized data to generate conclusions, but rather human interpretation and judgment.Examiners generally claim a zero rate of error – an untenable claim in the face of publicly known errors by the best examiners in the U.S. Failed Evidence explores the real reasons that police and prosecutors resist scientific change, and it lays out a concrete plan to bring law enforcement into the scientific present. Written in a crisp and engaging style, free of legal and scientific jargon, Failed Evidence will explain to police and prosecutors, political leaders and policy makers, as well as other experts and anyone else who cares about how law enforcement does its job, where we should go from here. Because only if we understand why law enforcement resists science will we be able to break through this resistance and convince police and prosecutors to rely on the best that science has to offer. Justice demands no less. Visit the author's blog here.

The Evaluation Of Forensic Dna Evidence

Author : Committee on DNA Forensic Science: An Update
ISBN : 9780309121941
Genre : Science
File Size : 62. 35 MB
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In 1992 the National Research Council issued DNA Technology in Forensic Science, a book that documented the state of the art in this emerging field. Recently, this volume was brought to worldwide attention in the murder trial of celebrity O. J. Simpson. The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence reports on developments in population genetics and statistics since the original volume was published. The committee comments on statements in the original book that proved controversial or that have been misapplied in the courts. This volume offers recommendations for handling DNA samples, performing calculations, and other aspects of using DNA as a forensic tool--modifying some recommendations presented in the 1992 volume. The update addresses two major areas: Determination of DNA profiles. The committee considers how laboratory errors (particularly false matches) can arise, how errors might be reduced, and how to take into account the fact that the error rate can never be reduced to zero. Interpretation of a finding that the DNA profile of a suspect or victim matches the evidence DNA. The committee addresses controversies in population genetics, exploring the problems that arise from the mixture of groups and subgroups in the American population and how this substructure can be accounted for in calculating frequencies. This volume examines statistical issues in interpreting frequencies as probabilities, including adjustments when a suspect is found through a database search. The committee includes a detailed discussion of what its recommendations would mean in the courtroom, with numerous case citations. By resolving several remaining issues in the evaluation of this increasingly important area of forensic evidence, this technical update will be important to forensic scientists and population geneticists--and helpful to attorneys, judges, and others who need to understand DNA and the law. Anyone working in laboratories and in the courts or anyone studying this issue should own this book.

The Neuroscience Of Handwriting

Author : Michael P. Caligiuri
ISBN : 9781439871409
Genre : Law
File Size : 50. 53 MB
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The Daubert trilogy of U.S. Supreme Court cases has established that scientific expert testimony must be based on science grounded in empirical research. As such, greater scrutiny is being placed on questioned document examination generally, and handwriting comparison in particular. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, The Neuroscience of Handwriting: Applications in Forensic Document Examination examines the essential neuroscientific principles underlying normal and pathological hand motor control and handwriting. Topics discussed include: Fundamental principles in the neuroanatomy and neurochemistry of hand motor control and their application to research in handwriting The epidemiology, pathophysiology, and motor characteristics of neurogenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, essential tremor, and motor neuron disease and their effects on handwriting Psychotropic medications prescribed for depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis; their mechanisms of action; and their effect on motor behavior and handwriting The impact of substance abuse on handwriting An overview of the aging process and its effects on motor control and handwriting The kinematic approach and new findings on the kinematic analyses of genuine, disguised, and forged signatures The authors’ laboratory research on authentic and forged signatures An essential resource for professionals and researchers in the forensic documentation examination and legal communities, this volume provides a window on the scientific process of signature and handwriting authentication, integrating the extensive research on neural processes and exploring how disease, medication, and advanced age alter these processes.

Modern Scientific Evidence

Author : David Laurence Faigman
ISBN : STANFORD:36105064229177
Genre : Law
File Size : 32. 71 MB
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This book features the following salient topics: The General Assumptions and Rationale of Forensic Identification; DNA Typing; Parentage Testing; Fingerprint Identification; Handwriting Identification; Firearms and Toolmark Identifications; Bullet Lead Analysis; Identification from Bitemkars; Talker Identification; Polygraph Tests; Fires, Arsons and Explosions; and Alcohol and Drug Testing.

Scientific Protocols For Fire Investigation Second Edition

Author : John J. Lentini
ISBN : 9781439875995
Genre : Law
File Size : 82. 96 MB
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Knowledge of the science behind fires is critical to understanding a fire’s cause and successfully presenting that determination to the authorities or in litigation. Now in its second edition, Scientific Protocols for Fire Investigation focuses on the practical application of scientific principles to determine the causes of fires. Uniquely qualified with years of experience in on-site investigations, lab analyses, and courtroom presentation, the author provides a resource that is unparalleled in depth and focus. The book explores: The history of fire investigation and the basic chemistry and physics of fire The science of fire dynamics—how things burn and how they interact with their surroundings while doing so Practical procedures for conducting fire scene inspections Laboratory examination of fire debris to test for the presence of ignitable liquid residues and for potential ignition sources Relevant scientific principles as applied to 30 actual fires The evolution of the mythology of arson investigation The common root causes of errors in fire investigation The final chapter discusses the professional practice of fire investigation. It examines quality assurance, business practices, and the fundamentals of being an expert witness, with advice for giving testimony in depositions and at trial. Other highlights of the second edition include new and expanded discussions on novel training methods, first assumptions, computer fire modeling, low voltage ignition sources, the questionable validity of some origin determinations, and recent changes in NFPA 921. Thorough and accessible, this volume not only provides the practical information necessary to conduct an effective inquiry but also offers insight into the science, history, and theory behind what makes fire investigation a multi-faceted profession. John Lentini discusses the book in a video on the CRC Press YouTube Channel.

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