FORS BIO LECT 2

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1

Collection Methods:

•Whenever possible, items should be collected “intact,” otherwise a sampling method is used

•Sampling methods include using forceps, tape lifts, or vacuuming the item

•Biological material may be sampled by cutting, swabbing or scraping

•Shaking or scraping the item should be done in a lab environment

•There is some overlap between lab and crime scene procedure

2

Packaging Options:

•The majority of items will be packaged in paper containers or bags

•Small items and particles should be packaged in a Bindle fold as the primary container, and then a secondary container to prevent any loss

•Plastic zip-lock bags are suitable for solid items that are non-biological

paper and cardboard = Biological (needs to breath)

Plastic bags = nonBio

plastic/glass tubes = liquids

special cardboard = weapons

Packages are sealed at the scene using tamperproof evidence tape -and should be opened along a new seal each time for examination

3

Laboratory Submission

–Type of incident

–Date and time of incident

–A brief description of the case facts

–Names of victim(s) and suspect(s)

–A list of items being submitted

–Types of analyses or tests required

–Submitting agency & investigator contact information

4

Rule 702

A witness who is qualified as an expert may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:

(a)the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trierof fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;

(b)the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;

(c)the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods;

and(d)the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

5

The Daubert criteria for admissibility:

–The scientific tests must be truly scientific

–The tests must have been subjected to significant hypothesis testing of the underlying principle

–The tests must be generally accepted

–Is there information on the error rate?

–Has there been peer reviewed publications?

•The Daubertcriteria apply equally to technical examinations as well as scientific evidence

6

Probable cause implies

that there is sufficient evidence to convince a reasonable person that a particular person may be guilty

Once a suspect is identified, it is possible to seek a court order to obtain evidence from that individual for laboratory analysis

7

The Criminal Justice Systemand Process

•Laboratory reports may be issued early in the investigation process and help to identify a suspect

•If issued after the arrest of an individual, the lab report will be sent to the prosecutor to help develop the necessary evidence for trial or to be used in the plea bargaining process

•Should the case proceed to trial, the forensic scientist will be called to testify on his/her findings and the lab report will be offered into evidence

8

Scientific & Technical Evidence

•The court, through judges, controls what evidence will be admitted

•The basic standard for the admissibility of evidence is relevance (the evidence has to be pertinent to the case and have the potential of helping the trier of fact (jury) reach a verdict)

9

Admissibility standards (3 cases)

•The Frye v. United States (1923) Supreme court ruling on the admissibility of new technical evidence, placed emphasis on general acceptance in the appropriate scientific community

•Admissibility issues were clarified for federal courts with the issuance of the Federal Rules of Evidence (1975) Rule 702

•The Federal Rules of Evidence emphasize the dual test of relevance and reliability

•In the case of William Daubertv. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 1993, the US Supreme Court issued guidelines for deciding the admissibility of scientific evidence, with the judges role being that of a “gatekeeper”

10

Rule 702

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:

(a)the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;

(b)the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;

(c)the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods;

and(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.


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