The Pros And Cons Of Forensic Science

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Register to read the introduction… when the physician of Julius Caesar determined that only one of the twenty three stab wounds he suffered was fatal. Causes of death, identification by fingerprinting, photographing of crime scenes and DNA profiling are all methods of forensic science. When DNA evidence was first introduced in a criminal case in the United States in 1987, prosecutors’ main concern was educating the jurors with the terminology and having experts testify in language that the general public could understand. Today, due to television, potential jurors are familiar with many terms used in trials that they may not have known before. People know that DNA is specific to only one person, even in the case of identical twins, there can be similar markers but no two are exactly alike. Jurors may not know that CODIS is the abbreviated term for Combined DNA Index System, but they do know that this is the database where DNA matches come from. They may also not know that the correct definition for AFIS is Automated Fingerprint Identification System, but again they do know that this is where fingerprint matches are obtained. In many cases, jurors have questioned why DNA evidence, fibers or fingerprints were not presented, although the cases did not require this kind of evidence processing. Judges have noted that television has taught the jury about forensic science and terminology, but not about when it should be …show more content…
On the show, the actors are accomplished in many disciplines within law enforcement. They gather evidence at the crime scene, run analysis in the laboratory, interview witnesses, interrogate suspects, participate in a shootout and apprehend the criminal at the end of the show. In reality, the professionals that are involved with investigations are familiar with the sub-disciplines, but each has their own specialized training in their particular field. Generally there is a lot of paperwork and time spent waiting for evidence to process in the laboratory, samples of DNA to run through CODIS for a possible match, fingerprints, verification of information and alibis. For the lab technicians there is tremendous documentation, cleaning of equipment between samples to not contaminate evidence and repeating of tests to verify results. These personnel are also not dedicated to one case at a time as seen on television. They have numerous cases going on simultaneously and must process each scene, piece of evidence that is gathered and documentation for each

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