A Glimpse at the Effects of Forensic Science in the Courtroom

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Updated: Jun 28, 2022
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How Affective is Forensic Science in the Courtroom? Today, we take it for granted that the state routinely uses scientific evidence in the prosecution of crime. It no longer matters whether witness are nonexistent or “unavailable,” as in the case of mob executions; the dead appear as witnesses for the prosecution, speaking through the agency of forensic experts. In the United States, scientific crime detection has become an integral part of the criminal justice system, . These sources are often obscured in the current practice and application of forensic science. The social structure of the forensic expertise has been an overwhelming success. One prominent scholar has voiced concern science in the criminal court room can place “a first on the scales of justice.” Medical expertise in the investigation of violent or undetermined death seems a broad and cultural scale to stress that society seems prepared to go to great lengths to find the exact cause of a crime. Where as, socially it often fails to direct its available resources at the prevention of similar crimes (McGrath, Julie pg.47.). Some problems with forensic science are whether the techniques are court acceptable or not. Basically, judges still employ the criteria used in certain court cases, which require that new tests must gain general scientific acceptance before it can be admitted into the court room. Judges are often placed in difficult positions because they are without adequate knowledge to decide if any particular technique has gained “general scientific acceptance.”

Procedures should reflect the thinking of both professionals because the expert possesses the scientific understanding of the test and the jurist will be making the ultimate decision of admissibility. Criteria should be developed with meet both legal and scientific acceptance, and procedures should be purposed by which any new test or set of data could be evaluated. Most criteria and procedures would be in the form of a standing committee composed of leading judges, attorneys, and scientists (Peterson, Joseph L. pg. 108.). The popular press fanned these fears by presenting a picture of a rising, unstemmed tide of urban crime and criminality. Urban crimes were often more difficult to solve than crimes committed in small towns, where there was seldom much difficulty in identifying a victim and, once that was known, in identifying his or her family, friends, and business partners always the most likely suspects. But a death in a city tenement block housing thousands was another matter. Too often, victim and culprit alike remained anonymous.” Inability to identify slowed or rendered impossible the apprehension of murderers, infanticides were difficult to distinguish from still-births, and the immigrant witnesses were subject to intimidation.” But to allow such crime to go unpunished seemed to leave unchallenged yet another threat to the already fraying social fabric.

Forensic scientist offered assurances that justice would be served and the social order preserved. The field’s scientific practitioners would identify the unknown victim and determine the cause of death and the manner in which it occurred homicide, suicide, or accident. Finally, in the court of law, the full weight ofscientific evidence would be brought to bear, ensuring conviction by all but the most stupid or obdurate jury. But before these promises could be fulfilled, American forensic scientists first had to secure their jurisdictional boundaries. For Example through forensic science the way the dead are able to speak is through the evidence left on the body, like bite marks even. As in the Fraternity murders of Ki Omega, better known as one of Ted Bundy’s pieces of work.. Ted left some key evidence behind – bite marks on the body of the victims. This is were a Forensic Anthropologist played a major role in the conviction of Ted Bundy. Anthropologist study three main fields: human development, fossil men and living races. So of course they understand the human dental work. By Ted leaving the bite marks at the scene a Forensic Anthropologist was able to take an impression of Ted’s teeth and make an exact model of them. Everyone has a unique shape to their dental work kind of like finger prints. After studying the model and the bite marks on the victims body’s  they were able to rule out all other suspects and convict Ted Bundy. However, forensic scientist are possessors and practitioners of this expert knowledge, have failed to achieve their professional goals. The proposed institutional locus for scientific crime detection, the medical examiner system, failed to deliver its proponents the degree of autonomy and respect they sought. Reformers’ denigrated of the coroner system divided the forensic science community and diluted its power to bring about meaningful institutional change.


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A Glimpse at the Effects of Forensic Science in the Courtroom. (2022, Jun 26). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-glimpse-at-the-effects-of-forensic-science-in-the-courtroom/