Forensic Evidence is Vital to Criminal Investigations Essay

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At every crime scene there is evidence and evidence is the vital part of crime scene investigation. From the time an officer arrives on the scene until a conviction of the perpetrator evidence is the key element in determining the guilt or innocence of those accused. A poorly conducted crime scene investigation can sometimes either destroy evidence or render it useless. The possibility of tainted evidence, miss-handled evidence, or lack of evidence, the guilty can go free or the wrongful convicted. When someone is convicted or acquitted wrongly it has an adverse effect on the entire criminal justice system. Evidence can range from body fluids, to weapons, to witnesses and DNA. Understanding and implementing the proper logistics of crime…show more content…
When crime scene investigators arrives on a scene a preliminary investigative walk through is usually performed to provide the lead investigator an opportunity to locate, view and identify valuable evidence. The initial walk through is crucial as a crime scene and the evidence, by nature, can change in an instant (Champion & Hooper, 2003). The preliminary walk through is also used to determine the investigative procedures to provide the best methodical examination and documentation of the scene. Note taking is a critical requirement beginning with the preliminary walk through as it enables investigators to keep a chronological record of everything that is seen and done. These field notes are often guided by the questions: who, what, when, where, how and why (Berg, 2008). A secure area must be established for temporary evidence storage in accordance with rules of evidence/chain of custody (Department of Justice, 2000). The next critical step is photographing the scene and the evidence. Nothing should be touched, picked up, or moved until this has been completed. All photographs must be identified and logged in order to be presented in court. If it can be shown that the evidence in the picture was tampered with, or not original to the crime scene, then the photograph cannot be used as evidence. A next key step is creating a permanent record of the scene that provides detailed substantiating evidence and constructs a system of redundancy.
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