Forensic Science Term Paper

745 Words3 Pages
To begin to understand about forensic science we must first understand what it means, how it came about, what role does it play in law enforcement today, and what role will it play in law enforcement in the future. Forensic science is basically the application of science in criminal and civil law. The word forensics come from the Latin term forensis, meaning “of or before the forum” and this is because during the Roman Empire a criminal charge meant presenting the case before a group of public individuals in the forum, thus giving it it’s meaning. Although forensics science is technically a modern finding it was slightly used in the ancient world. Before criminal investigations relied solely on confessions and witnesses. In the year 1248…show more content…
It plays a crucial role in the investigative process and this is because forensic scientist collect, preserve, and analyze evidence. In recent years, the blend of science and technology has enabled police to solve many crimes that once would have been considered beyond resolution. “Forensic science utilizes scientific principles to support or negate theories surrounding physical evidence found at a crime scene.” (New York State Police) While some forensic scientist just travel from scene to scene and collect evidence, other occupy a more laboratory role and actually analyze the evidence that is brought to them. Forensics is a very large field with many different occupation such as criminalist, forensic toxicologist, forensic pathologist, forensic anthropologist, fingerprint examiner, DNA analyst, medical examiner and many more. Current uses of forensic science in law enforcement consist of toxicology, ballistics, anthropometry, fingerprints, the Unlenhuth test, DNA, and maturation. Toxicology is basically the detection of poisonous substances inside the human body. Although the method to detect arsenious oxide was created by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm, it was applied and perfected by James Marsh. Marsh development a test where he combined a sample of arsenic with sulfuric acid resulting in arsine gas. This test was so sensitive it could detect as little as one-fiftieth of a milligram of arsenic. This test…show more content…
“The field of ballistics is able to identify rifling patterns, marks made by using suppressors (silencers), shell casings, powder burn and many other different areas relating to the use of firearms and the evidence they leave behind.” (Ballistics: The Use and Study of Firearms) Most ballistics experts would be able to pinpoint a specific weapon being used just by the sound of it being fired. Ballistics experts are also able to tell how close a person would have to be to receive a life threatening wound from a gun. Ballistics plays huge role in forensic science today since mostly every criminal has a firearm and “in some cases the use of ballistics research can prove a link between many different crimes carried out over a lengthy period of time. This is also an important function of the ballistics team as many weapons are passed and sold on between criminals during their life cycle.” (Ballistics: The Use and Study of
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