First of all, let us understand what forensic science means as I consider myself to be like some of you who may not be familiar with what it signifies. It is the science of associating people, places and things involved in criminal activities. This scientific discipline assists in investigating and adjudicating criminal and civil cases.
Going back in history, forensic science emerged during the 19th century when cities were growing in size and complexity. Transients and crooks travelling from one city to another, began to commit crimes and then become invisible in the crowds. Perpetual criminals, in order to escape the law, were forced to move from town to town. In this shifting society arose pioneers in writing of detective stories. Among these were Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle followed by pioneers in forensic science ?Francois Quetelet, Caesare Lombroso, Alphonse Bertillon, Hans Gross, Edmund Locard, Paul Kirk and Ralph Turner.
Evidence is central to any investigation and subsequent trial. It lays the foundation for the arguments the attorney plans to offer. It is reviewed as the ?impartial objective and sometimes stubborn information? that helps a judge or jury to draw the conclusion. In an investigation ?evidence can provide leads, clear suspects, or provide sufficient cause for arrest or indictment,? says the author. Evidence is thus in the form of investigation, whether oral testimony, documents, or material objects, in a legal investigation that makes a fact or proposition more or less likely. For example, someone is seen leaving the scene of homicide with a baseball bat. It is later shown by scientific examination that blood removed from the bat has come from victim ? this could be considered evidence that the accused person did kill the victim.
The book concludes by advising that the forensic scientist must testify within the bounds of his or her expertise without offering any speculative observations.
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