Throughout this course, we have explored topics in forensic science with special emphasis on approaching, securing, and managing a crime scene; documenting, collecting, and processing evidence; maintaining chain of custody; and presenting evidence at trial. We have also looked at collection and analysis of fingerprints, ballistics evidence, blood, trace evidence, tool marks, and impressions of tires and footprints. This process is critical to locating, securing, and analyzing physical evidence that will help solve crimes and to the admission of that evidence in court in order to secure a conviction.

The final assignment for this course is an analysis of the Crime Scene Scenario from Week One. You will analyze the crime scene and provide a detailed, step-by-step examination from initial discovery through admission of evidence at trial. Do this by including the following:

  • Approach to the crime scene
  • Documentation of evidence
  • Collection of evidence
  • Processing of evidence
  • Maintenance of chain of custody
  • Presentation at trial

The following elements must be addressed in your Crime Scene Scenario Analysis. Your analysis must address these elements for each potential piece of physical evidence you locate at the crime scene:

  • Determine how the initial responders should approach the crime scene.
  • Analyze how initial documentation of evidence should be carried out. This includes documenting both the overall crime scene and the location of various pieces of evidence within the scene. Issues of photographing, sketching, and video documentation of evidence should be addressed.
  • Analyze how evidence should be collected, including specific methods for
    • Potentially hazardous evidence.
    • Impression evidence.
    • Easily contaminated or compromised evidence.
  • Explain how the evidence should be processed, including the basic scientific analysis to be performed on each piece of evidence and the laboratory equipment that will be utilized.
  • Analyze each type of evidence found in the scenario in terms of its historical use in criminal cases.
  • Assess how the chain of custody will be maintained.
  • Evaluate how evidence will be presented at trial, including discussion of foundation and introduction of new tests and technology, if applicable.

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