Forensic Science in the 21st Century

1469 words 6 pages
Forensic Science in the 21st Century
Gertrude West
Forensic Science and Psychological Profiling /CJA590
May 30, 2011
Edward Baker

Forensic Science in the 21st Century Forensic science has various influences on crime, investigation and the people that are involved. Forensic science has a connection with the courts to ensure crimes are getting solved and justice is being served to those that commit crimes. With the help of forensic science, crimes are being solved from a human and technological aspect. This paper highlights numerous discussions on how forensic science plays a role in criminal justices system, security, media and the law. Forensic science is a separate entity from the police; although a large portion of
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“The most obvious symptom of the CSI effect is that jurors think they have a thorough understanding of science they have seen presented on television, when they do not” (Economist, 2010 ). Scientist deals more with probability than certainty. The process of calculating the probability is complex. During a court preceding a finger print expert may acknowledge a 90% chance of obtaining a match if a defendant left a print. On the other hand it could be one in several billion chance of a match if someone other than the defendant left the mark. DNA in general provides evidence of a higher quality than other forms of proof; therefore, experts may be more confident to link results to a specific individual. The probabilities and not certainties still lie within the DNA findings. As a result, trials are longer and cases that previously might have offer quick convictions are now ending in acquittals. The CSI effect can also be positive. “In one case in Virginia jurors asked the judge if a cigarette butt had been tested for possible DNA matches to the defendant in a murder trial. It had, but the defense lawyers had failed to introduce the DNA test results as evidence. When they did, those results exonerated the defendant, who was acquitted” (Economist, 2010 ). In the study of forensic science, there are so many things that people do not know. The


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