The Importance of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Investigation
Forensic evidence is the one used in a court of law to assist in investigation of crime by examining any physical evidence through use of scientific methods like the blood tests, ballistics, and fingerprint identification (Jamieson and Moenssens, 2009). The evidence is so much helpful in a court of law if well presented during a case. All this evidence helps prove an individual guilty or innocent if he or she was a suspect. The scientific evidence obtained is based on the knowledge beyond the knowledge of court and juries. It is done by experts in science who are familiar with the scientific methods of acquiring forensic evidence. Its analysis is useful in prosecution civil and criminal proceedings. It helps identify the crimes that are related in one way or another as well as making the police have an easy time in narrowing the range of suspects. Moreover the information acquired is helpful in identification of crime patterns and suspects.
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Forensic evidence has played an importance role in crime in investigations for quite a long time since its launching. It has seen to the improvement of the crime investigation as well as reducing crime rates in the world. Here are some of the ways through which it has been of importance. One achievement is that of identifying individuals by their fingerprints. It is true that no two individuals will have the same finger prints thus a better way of personal identification. It was devised in 1900 for use in criminal identification. In Argentine court it was upheld in 1890s and in English courts by 1902. It was later taken by other countries as well. It helps in establishing and making available criminal records of individual offenders and a means of getting the perpetrators of particular criminal acts in a country. The police officers collect and maintain a database of fingerprints found on crime scenes to match them later in other crime cases.
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Additionally, science provides useful evidence in criminal detection. Without scientific evidence criminals will not be convicted of their crimes that range from common theft to homicidal rampage unless there was an eye witness.
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Scientific evidence has enabled the law to find out the truth in resolving the human conflicts that are as a result of crime. The judge will always have a rough time in pinning out the criminals if they lack the basic truth or even give a ruling to the wrong person. Many are the times when individuals are punished for a crime they never committed.
Moreover, forensic evidence is the best known witness and the only evidence the prosecutors have to work with. It does not matter whether the evidence available is decaying the forensic scientists will use DNA strands from the body, dental work, skeletal structure to determine who the individual was. It is from this evidence that they narrow down to every possibilities to determine if the remains are from a male or a female and in case a foul play resulted to the death. The technology works best for the crimes related to sex and those that are drug related. In a crime lab, all chemical make ups of unidentified substances are identified. It will help notify who was in possession of the illegal drug. In case a person was drunk or die due to poisoning the DNA investigation done in the individual’s body will help pick up the one responsible for the physical and sexual assault. It helps the courts to put the sex offenders and child molesters behind bars and free the innocent.
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Another thing in actualizing forensic evidence is the weapons testing or ballistics. It is quite important since the forensic scientists use their knowledge on ammunition to study the impacts of a bullet to note how many shots were fired, distance the shooter was when firing or if the victim was shot at point blank (Haag and Haag, 2012).
Forensics is also significant in identifying the culprits of various cyber crimes. A thorough search on databases, IP addresses is done and documents are recovered by computer forensic specialists to determine who was responsible for pinching funds electronically. This proof is used to prove a suspect’s guilt for major white collar crime, such as Ponzi schemes, embezzlement and fraud.
Forensic evidence helps to prove that a crime has been committed by an individual. The evidence will also go to an extra mile to establish the key features of the crime. It aids in putting the suspect in contact with the victim who had reported the case. The crime scene is also made clear to the suspect and the victim of the crime. Evidence from the forensic science provides the security officers and the court to get a clear identity of the persons linked to the crime of investigation. The court acquires the necessary facts about the individuals which stand in helping them to give the right ruling that is not skewed to either side. It gives the DNA information, fingerprints and other facts about the persons. One can therefore rely on such rulings that are not based on hearsay but factual evidence provided by the forensic department in every country.
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Everyone deserves justice in a court of law. The kind of justice provided ought to rely of evidence provided. There is no justice that can effect in a court of law if the court juries do not get access to factual evidence. No one can despise the evidence presented by forensic scientists on an individual taken to be a suspect. This evidence has seen too many being exonerated due to innocence. Many people have suffered in courts of law due to presentation of false evidence or misconceptions by security officers who may pick on a person blindly and brand him or her a suspect of a particular crime.
Crime investigation has in later years been victimized with provision of false evidence. After the invention of forensic science in crime investigation much has been achieve that enhance substantiation of a victim’s testimony. Many are the times when judges were only relying on verbal evidence from the eyewitnesses or bought a witness which was not enough to assign justice. With the help of forensic evidence, validity of the individual’s testimonies is made possible in giving unquestionable ruling. No one can refute the ruling given in the court of law after crime investigations. In case forensic evidence is provided everyone is contented with the outcomes of the court without questions.
In any criminal investigation facts about what transpired in the crime scene is vital. The jury needs to get facts about the crime scene. There is no justice that can be administered if facts about the crime scene are not present. The forensic evidence helps in establishment of the facts of what occurred. It presents all the relevant details of what might have occurred during the crime incidence. The police officers devote their time in gathering this information that guides the prosecution of the criminals. They supply the smoking gun which proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It has become a custom for the jurors to always wait for forensic evidence and when they lack it they are filled with doubts in their minds. It is a situation that is dangerous if justice is to be achieved. It has been a norm now for the courts to use physical evidence and especially from forensic science to give their verdict rather than relying on police authority and the defendants confessions.
In addition, forensic evidence has enabled the police to acquire within a short time the law offenders. Forensic evidence takes a short time to collect data, analyze and arrest within an hour (Owen, 2000). This has made the public to perceive the evidence as the best. The public do not have doubt with the way investigations have been conducted. The report is also clear and precise for the court to consume and use in the delivery of justice. The scientists provide reports that are clear and explicitly detailed to the case and nothing else.
Forensic evidence is vital since it touches on several areas that capture necessary information required in crime investigation. Fingerprint itself has for the years been used to give evidence on incidences of crime by revealing that the suspect was or was not there during the crime occurrence. It will also prove the doubts on whether the victim was or was not supposed to have been there. Hair and fibers are also very unique to each individual. If a DNA test is conducted on a hair, it will shed light whether the person was present. Computer crimes have as well been reconstituted even if they were wiped from hard drives. The technicians are also able to reassemble erased files to capture the suspect’s online activities. It also helps in trailing the online ventures of the victim in case he or she is one of those who are involved in distribution and production of child pornography (Lewis et al., 2004).
DNA evidence has helped the security officers to acquire enough information on criminal cases. The information helps ease the work of the police officers and offload them the burden of looking for evidence from unwilling members of the public. It again saves the time taken for one to get justice if he is the one offended. There is no shelving of cases in the judiciary since there is no enough evidence to continue the case.
Use of forensic evidence in investigating criminals is beneficial. It helps handle the cases that are controversial and hard to make a ruling without first hand evidence from the suspects. The evidence helps clear any doubt that might be hindering the case to continue. All this evidence help the jury to issue a verdict that is not biased or attributed to the pressure that the offender is putting on them.
It is through such evidence the rates of crime incidences are reduced in a country since majority of the criminals fear committing due to the improved intelligence in the security sector. Through research conducted in many countries it is has been proven that forensic evidence invention has seen to the decline of criminal cases (Nickell and Fischer, 1999). The countries that use forensic evidence cannot be compared in the level crime with those that do not use it. The crime level is high in countries which do not use the forensic evidence in their investigations.
The technology of using forensic evidence has greatly contributed to the effectiveness of criminal investigations. It has made it possible for unknown offenders to be identified and punished accordingly. It increases the odd of detection where other types of evidence have deemed irrelevant. It is thus the best in detecting harder to solve crimes. It has helped the countries to upgrade their intelligence in crime investigations.
Forensic evidence also gets used to connect crimes that are thought to get linked to one another. For instance, DNA confirmation can bond one criminal to quite a lot of diverse crimes or crime scenes or vindicate the accused. Connecting crimes assists law enforcement authorities to fine the range of probable suspects and to set up patterns for crimes, which are helpful in recognizing and putting on trial suspects. This will help the law enforcement authorities in practicing justice since it will be the only guilty who will get prosecuted. This followed up will help reduce crimes since criminals will not be able to cover evidence using a different person.
Forensic scientists moreover work on rising new methods and measures for the compilation and scrutiny of evidence. In this manner, innovative technology can get used and sophisticated not only to maintain forensic scientist on the critical periphery of science, but to uphold the uppermost standards of excellence and correctness. This however gives a clear indication that forensic evidence is highly reliable since it is attained with a lot of cautiousness. This makes even those who are found guilty in a criminal case to have a great task in appealing. However, this is because they require producing defense evidence that is as appropriate as that provide through forensic.
Picture a globe where criminals escape without restraint. Detectives and police officers gather confirmation much the similar way as they carry out today, but Science is not used. Owing to the lack of scientific psychoanalysis, there would not be a lot of helpful proof. Without the make use of science, offenders could not be found guilty of their crimes, ranging from ordinary robbery to a murderous rampage, unless there was a bystander there at the crime sight when the offense took place. Killers would keep on killing, thieves would keep on thieving, and drug traffickers would keep on selling. Luckily, in today’s globe, science gets utilized in resolving crimes. Evidences an offender leaves at the back can get traced to themselves using scientific confirmation. Forensic science can get utilized to settle on various things from the confirmation when it is gathered appropriately without any corruption. The people that require becoming skilled at the methods of gathering the confirmation for forensic science psychoanalysis are those from law enforcement agencies that get in touch with the offense scenes repeatedly.
Without high-quality forensic science acquaintance and expertise, courts around the globe are left merely speculating. Although, it’s very hazardous to merely test something and arise with an end result and take for granted that this is unavoidably having an important effect.
It is clear that the forensic evidence has been of great help in assisting reducing the criminal cases around the world. This is because criminals cannot leave data at the scene of crime and escape the course of law. Additionally, it has really played a part it distinguishing the guilty and not guilty in the court as it provides information that can be used to distinguish two confused criminals. As a result the FBI which is the well known Forensic center should train more individuals on how to go through so as to get the most appropriate forensic evidence.
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