Forensic Investigations Spring 2021 Assignment
(1) What does the term forensic mean? What is science? What does the term forensic science mean?
(2).In your opinion, what are some safety concerns that forensic investigators must consider while securing and searching the crime scene? We know the obvious concerns that first responders may face such as an armed individual still at the scene of a crime; however, there are concerns that forensic investigators must also consider when evaluating, assessing, documenting, and performing evidence collection at crime scenes. What are some that you can think of?
(3).One thing I wanted to ask the class is, what do you think about the use of advanced equipment for documenting crime scenes? When using advanced equipment, such as a drone, what concerns do you think may arise from the public once this piece of equipment is launched? Also, new forms of recording the crime scene involve more expensive equipment which also relies on computer programs to conduct calculations, measurements, etc… whereas the older versions of scene documentation rely on the human approach for the actual work, less training (i.e. learning how to operate CAD programs, drones, etc…), and longer hours at the scene. If you were a supervisor of a forensic investigation unit which would you prefer and why?
5). An interesting article from the LA Times in 2018 was passed to me regarding privacy and DNA. Being that this week we are discussing physical evidence and death investigation, what are your thoughts regarding utilizing private DNA companies for methods of identification for law enforcement investigations. The private companies I am referencing are those like Ancestry.com and 23and ME for example. As forensic investigators, keep in mind the difficulties involved with discovering human remains, sometimes skeletalized, and making positive identifications of those decedents. Also, keep in mind that physical evidence can include items with potential DNA on them (such as weapons, bloodied articles of clothing, etc…).
Many would say that law enforcement already has a database such as CODIS for DNA. For those that are unaware, according to FBI.gov, “…CODIS, blends forensic science and computer technology into a tool for linking violent crimes…”, and CODIS “…enables federal, state, and local forensic laboratories to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking serial violent crimes to each other and to known offenders” (https://www.fbi.gov/services/laboratory/biometric-analysis/codis). Private companies, such as those mentioned above, are most known for researching family history. For this one just right your opinion of the subject and article.
6 According to our weekly calendar, you should be familiar with “Physical Evidence”. One important concept in the is understanding “class” versus “individual” characteristics of evidence. Based on your reading and understanding of this concept, can a piece of tape ever contain individual characteristics? Give a “yes” or “no” response in this discussion thread and defend please your answer.
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