Forensic Science History

Forensic Science History

CJS/215

Forensic Science History

The history of forensic science goes back many centuries, even though the widespread use of it is relatively new, for example, the first time DNA was used in a case was in 1985 in the United Kingdom, the United States in late 1986 and the FBI used it for the first time in 1988. DNA testing is such a commonplace thought today, it is hard to imagine that it has only been in case use for 30 years. This isn’t to say that forensic crimes labs are that young, the first American crime lab was established in 1924 by then chief of Los Angeles Police August Vollmer, and the FBI established its own laboratory in 1932, 8 years after its inception. As mentioned earlier, forensic science has been around in some form or other for several hundred years.

In 3rd Century China there was one recorded instance of a coroner solving the case of a woman accused of murdering her husband. She had claimed he died in the house fire, the coroner however suspected foul play, so he took two pigs and burned one alive and one dead, the one that was dead when burned had no ashes in its mouth much like the husband in the case, the pig that had been burned alive had ashes in its mouth however. When confronted with this evidence the woman confessed to killing her husband and covering it up with the fire.

One of the first instances on record regarding fingerprints is from 1686, however while the differences in patterns was recognized at this time, there was no mention of them possibly being used to identify a person. It was over a hundred years later that the first paper regarding fingerprints was written, and as before, there was still not mention of them being useful in identifying people.

As doctors learned more about the human body and other areas of science expanded, so did the use of science in regards to crime solving. There are many sections and subsections of forensic science, including physical, biological, firearms, documentation examination, toxicology, computer forensics, and many more. The role of the forensic science expert varies depending on the exact field of forensic science you are discussing. DNA expert’s roles include the techs that gather hair and blood samples, along with other samples of materials that can contain DNA, such as bodily fluids, skin cells. Those experts that deal with non-biological evidence such as fire-arm experts role includes examining markings on casings to match to a particular gun that was used. A crime scene is usually examined in parts, much like a giant puzzle that each expert collects evidence, takes it back to the lab, runs relevant test to extract the most information they can and then collate it into a single report that another expert delivers to the police and presents in court on the findings.

Crime scenes can be simple or complex, often demanding the expertise of many different forensic experts, including biological, chemistry, computer science and other disciplines in order to rebuild exactly how a crime occurred and ruling out not only who did it, but those that are innocent of the crime as well.

The capabilities of forensic science are nothing short of amazing, evidence gathered at a homicide crime scene can help the experts figure out how someone died, including figuring out how tall the person doing it was, when it was done, what it was done with. Blood splatter tests can provide this type of information, DNA test can include or exclude possible suspects, toxicology can show if the person has poison in their system, or if they were on some sort of drug that could be related. These type of findings can even be used in cold cases to help solve a crime that was committed decades ago. The advances of forensic science is growing exponentially every day, with new methods of collection, new tests that can be run, new information that can be gathered from the simplest pieces of evidence. While being as fast and complete as portrayed on television and in the movies is far away, one day it may be so advanced that suspects can be brought to justice in a short matter of time instead of sometimes taking months or even years before justice is served.

Content6 Points Points Earned6/6
Describe the history and development of forensic science.Identify the many roles of the forensic science expert as is they relate to the forensic science disciplines.Explain the capabilities of forensic science. Comments:Patty,Outstanding job describing the history of Forensic Science. As you stated it has come a long way in the last hundred years, as technology and science advances, so does the realm of Forensic Science. You also provided some insight on the many roles of a forensic expert, and how they are an essential part of the overall criminal investigation.Again, the capabilities and use of Forensic Science continues to expand every day. We have now have such fields as Computer Forensics, Forensic Analyst and a whole host of areas that were never conceived a hundred years ago.
Organization and Development2 Points Points Earned2/2
The paper is 700 to 1,050 words in length.The paper is clear and organized; major points are supported by details, examples, or analysis.The tone aligns with the assignment’s purpose and is geared towards the appropriate audience.The paper is logical, flows, and reviews the major points. Comments:Good flow to your paper. Intro and Conclusion!
Mechanics and Format2 Points Points Earned2/2
The assignment file is presentable and functional.Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed; spelling is correct. The assignment is consistent with APA guidelines; intellectual property is recognized with in-text citations and references. Comments:Thanks for using “Spell Check”, you have no idea how many students forget this quick taskAwesome job with the Reference Page!
Total Percent10 Points Total Earned 10/10