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0759390851 Forensics Chapter Watermark

0759390851 Forensics Chapter Watermark

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Published by: Mark Allen Pulido on Sep 18, 2012
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1Introduction to ForensicScience2Forensic Chemistry3Theory of Forensic Analysis4Fingerprint Development5Presumptive Drug Analysis6Soil Analysis7Thin LayerChromatography and InkAnalysis8Conclusions
Forensic scientists play a key role incriminal investigations. Fingerprintscollected from a suspect will becompared to fingerprints collectedat the crime scene after beingdeveloped in the lab by a forensicscientist.
 FORENSIC CHEMISTRY
David Collins
Brigham Young University—Idaho
 P
rime-time television is chock-full of drama centered on the criminal jus-tice system. Programs such as
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 
,
Law & Order,Criminal Minds 
, and
Cold Case 
carry the viewer through stimulating, yet nearly impossible-to-solve, investigations that culminate with the evidence re- vealing the entire untold story behind a crime in one hour or less. In real lifethe collection and analysis of evidence involves painstaking care and rigorousapplication of scientific principles.Have you ever wondered how evidence in an actual case tells the story, what information each item of evidence holds, and how this informationcanbe elucidated in a crime laboratory? In this chapter we will explore the world of forensic chemistry, focusing on the theory and processes of forensicanalysis and showing the role that chemistry plays in criminal investigations.
Charles D. Winters
Collins_Forensic.qxd 9/21/06 3:40 PM Page 1
©2007 Thomson Brooks/Cole, a part of the Thomson Corporation. Thomson, the Star logo, and Brooks/Cole are trademarks used herein under license. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Nopart of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means — graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording,taping, Web distribution or information storage and retrieval systems — without the written permission of the publisher. The Adaptable Courseware Program consists of products andadditions to existing Brooks/Cole products that are produced from camera-ready copy. Peer review, class testing, and accuracy are primarily the responsibility of the author(s). ForensicChemistry / Collins - First Edition ISBN 0-759-39085-1. Printed in the United States of America.
 
By the end of this chapter, you should be able to answer some basic questionsabout forensic chemistry:What is forensic science?How is chemistry used in forensic science?What determines the value of each item of evidence?Is the analysis process for each item of evidence the same?What type of information allows for an
exclusive 
link?
INTRODUCTION TO FORENSIC SCIENCE
Forensic science
applies science principles, techniques, and methods to theinvestigation of crime. A lesser known definition of the adjective
 forensic 
is any-thing argumentative or debatable. At first, this definition of 
 forensic 
may seemto have no connection with the more popular crime-solving definition—but it does. Legal truth is sought through the use of the adversarial system (ratherthan the scientific method), and decisions are made only after each side hasbeen given an equal opportunity to argue all the issues at hand. When one of the issues being argued is a scientific analysis (using the scientific method) of an item of evidence, the debate that ensues over the science involved could becalled
 forensic 
science.Other related definitions of 
 forensic 
may include (1) the use of science toaid in the resolution of legal matters and (2) a scientific analysis for the pur-pose of judicial resolve. For example, saying that something was
 forensically 
de-termined suggests the information was
scientifically 
determined with the intent to be presented (and debated) in a court of law.Recently the term
 forensic 
has also been used to describe many scientificinvestigations—even if no crime is suspected. Often these investigations are of historical significance and may or may not have legal consequences. Forexample, a forensic scientist may work on the discovery of the composition of ancient pottery, the detection of Renaissance art techniques, or the identifica-tion of ancient human remains.
Forensic history 
is the use of science to answerhistorical questions.
Role of a Forensic Scientist
Most forensic scientists analyze evidence in a crime laboratory and spend littletime at the crime scene. The duties of forensic scientists are not exactly as they are portrayed on many popular television shows, where the crime scene inves-tigator plays the role of Sherlock Holmes and does everything from collectingthe evidence to solving the crime.In real life a team of experts does the job of television’s crime scene inves-tigators. The forensic scientists do not directly solve crimes; they simply ana-lyze the
 physical evidence
. Physical evidence includes all objects collected andpackaged at a crime scene that will be subsequently analyzed in a crime labo-ratory. This evidence is typically collected by police officers or specially trainedcrime scene investigators; however, the evidence of a crime is not limited tothose items sent to the crime laboratory. Other evidence may include interro-gations, eye witness stories, police reports, crime scene notes and sketches,and anything else determined to aid in the investigation. Subsequently, the de-tective assigned to the case pieces together all the evidence in an attempt tosolve the crime. Interpretation of all the evidence and the accompanyingscientific results is also practiced by many attorneys, but typically the forensic
1
2
Forensic Chemistry
Forensic science
The application of sci-ence principles, techniques, and meth-ods to the investigation of crime; theuse of science to aid in the resolution of legal matters; scientific analysis for the
Forensic history
The use of science to
Physical evidence
Evidence of a physicalnature that can be collected and subse-
Collins_Forensic.qxd 9/21/06 3:40 PM Page 2
purpose of judicial resolve.answer historical questions.quently analyzed in a crime laboratory.
 
scientist does not get involved in this aspect of the investigation. Figure 1illustrates the role that each of these individuals plays in an investigation. Although the service provided by the forensic scientist is central to thesolving of many crimes, it is not usually required for crimes like speeding orshoplifting. In fact, most crimes do not require a forensic analysis of physicalevidence. Physical evidence present at a crime scene may not even be col-lected; and if it is collected, it may not be analyzed. The decision to collect andsubsequently analyze physical evidence depends on the seriousness of thecrime, police department protocol, the state of the investigation, laboratory capabilities, and crime scene resources. A large number of forensic scientists are chemists. Forensic chemists em-ploy their knowledge of chemistry to analyze evidence such as fibers, paint, ex-plosives, charred debris, drugs, glass, soil, documents, tool marks, andfirearms. To a lesser extent, forensic chemists also use their knowledge for tox-icology (the study of poisons and their effects), fingerprints, footwear impres-sions, tire impressions, and hair analyses. Although many forensic analyses re-quire the expertise of a chemist, chemistry is not the only discipline that contributes to the extremely vast and truly interdisciplinary field of forensicscience. Other disciplines and professions contributing to the field includeengineering, computer science, entomology, anthropology, pathology,physics, nursing, and psychology, among many others. Virtually any discipline,profession, or trade that has an expertise that can aid in the solving of crimes will fall under the umbrella of forensic science. This chapter will focus onsome of the many applications of chemistry in forensic science.
The Forensic Generalist and Specialist
Despitethewidevarietyofevidencethatforensicscientistscananalyze,most present-dayforensicscientistsarenotgeneralists.Historically,
forensicgen-eralists
 wouldanalyzealltypesofphysicalevidence.Theirfamiliaritywithmanyforensicanalysistechniqueswasextremelydiverse,andtheirabilitytocarryoutanygivenanalysiswaslimitedonlybytheirknowledgeandre-sources.Theforensicgeneralistservedtheroleofafamilydoctorinthefieldofforensicscience—whateverwasneededtobeanalyzed,thegeneralist couldhelp.Today,however,forensicgeneralistsareslowlybeingreplacedby forensicspecialistsduetotheever-increasingcomplexityoftheeldoforensicscience.
Forensic specialists
dedicate the majority of their efforts to becoming ex-perts in only one or a few branches of forensic science. Forensic chemistry, forexample, is now a specialized field of forensic science. The forensic chemist does not typically analyze biological evidence or carry out DNA analyses.These analyses are typically performed by a forensic biologist. Many argue that forensic specialization is appropriate and necessary due to the vast scope of forensic science and the diversity in analysis techniques. As is true with allother sciences, forensic science continues to evolve and develop. With such a vast body of knowledge, it is inconceivable that a single person could becomean expert in all areas of science, and it is equally inconceivable that a personcould become an expert in all areas of forensic science.Specialization is not unique to forensic science and has become common-place in the medical profession. When children are sick, we take them to a pe-diatrician; when we have an ear infection, we see an ear, nose, and throat doctor; and when we need a heart operation, we see a heart surgeon. With the wide variety of evidence that may be analyzed by the forensic chemist, subspe-cialization is also quite common. It is not unusual for a forensic chemist to begiven a subtitle such as firearms analyst, trace evidence analyst, fingerprint 
1 Introduction to Forensic Science
3
Collection of physical evidenceby police officers or crimescene investigatorsAnalysis of physical evidenceby forensic scientistsInterpretation of all evidenceby detective or attorneyPresentation of evidence incourt (often involving theforensic scientist)
FIGURE 1
Involvement of variousindividuals in an investigation.Chemistry is used in the analysis of explosives like dynamite.
    C    h   a   r    l   e   s    D .    W    i   n   t   e   r   s
Forensic generalist
A forensic scientistfamiliar with most areas of forensic sci-ence and capable of analyzing mostitems of physical evidence, but not nec-essarily considered an expert in any area
Forensic specialist
A forensic scientistthat has become an expert in one or a
Collins_Forensic.qxd 9/21/06 3:40 PM Page 3
of forensic science.few branches of forensic science.

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