Crime Scenes - Research Paper Example

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Crime Scenes 1.1. Primary and Secondary Crime Scenes and Security thereof According to Fabiola Castillo, a crime scene is a location where evidence of a crime may be found in but it is not necessarily where the crime has been committed. The primary crime scene is the place where the actual offense took place like the electronic store…
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Crime Scenes Research Paper
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Crime Scenes 1. Primary and Secondary Crime Scenes and Security thereof According to Fabiola Castillo, a crime scene is a location where evidence of a crime may be found in but it is not necessarily where the crime has been committed. The primary crime scene is the place where the actual offense took place like the electronic store. A secondary crime scene is the place which in some way, be it shape or form, is related to the offense but is not the place where the offense occurred, such as the suspect’s getaway car and apartment (Castillo 10). According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the crime scene must be protected to minimize the risk of contamination and loss of evidence. The crime scene can be secured though such means as limiting access to it; taping wide area around it; keeping a log of persons allowed entry; prevent contamination of the scene; and ensuring that specialist personnel should be aware of the basic principles of crime scene investigation. 1.2. Theory and Sources of Evidence This case scenario can be based on the strain or social class theory, which postulates that, suggests that mainstream culture, advances dreams of opportunity, freedom, and prosperity. According to Merton (5) in the event those majorities to do not realize the dream because of the unequal opportunities, some of them turn to illegitimate means (crime) in order to realize it. The theory can be attributed to such evidence as the personalized plate, the shaggy hair, and the expired driver’s license. The suspect seems to have been informed to commit the burglary by the thirst to getting rich quickly in order to live the American dream (Ronald and Christine 28) 1.3. Corpus Delecti Evidence and Associative Evidence and their Significance Corpus delecti evidence fulfils the requirement that the prosecution present actual evidence that a crime was committed in order to convict a defendant. It requires independent evidence showing that the charged crime occurred even with the aid of circumstantial evidence. All corpus delicti requires at a minimum:1) The occurrence of the specific injury and 2) some criminal agency as the source of the injury. For example, in the offence of larceny one has to prove that property missing because it was stolen such as is the case with the missing iPads. The principle of corpus delicti was established to protect persons from being unjustly convicted of a crime they did not commit. According to the National Institute of Justice, associative evidence is evidence that links two separate entities, either people or objects to the crime scene. Examples of associative evidence include: latent fingerprints left on an object, fibers left from contact of clothing with objects, blood from physical injury, saliva from spitting, cigarettes, or envelopes, hair shed at a scene, paint transferred during a burglary, glass transferred during a burglary, soil from a scene and impressions from tools, footwear, or tire. In the case in point, associative evidence will include fingerprints found anywhere on the electronics retailer and in the vehicle and its contents and the small amounts of blood on glass fragments hanging from the front door of the retailer. Associative evidence can be used to provide links between evidence and individuals involved in a crime (Ronald 6). 1.4. Hazards to be Faced at the Crime Scenes Hayden Baldwin postulates that a crime scene investigation is a hazardous venture to the health of both the investigator and others. Some hazards include biological contamination from bodily fluids; physical hazards such as hazardous gases and chemicals, slippery floor, falling objects and broken glasses; and tools and chemicals used in processing the crime scene such as an Electro Static Dust Print Lifter, a Laser or an Alternate Light Source (Baldwin 87). 1.5. Techniques for Analyzing Forensic Evidence Traditional forensic analysis methods include: chromatography, spectroscopy, hair and fiber analysis, and serology (such as DNA examination); pathology, anthropology, odontology, toxicology, structural engineering, and examination of questionable documents; and behavioral patterns revealed by tests, such as polygraphs and psychological exams. The most common forensics includes fingerprints, ballistics, trace evidence, and biological evidence. In this scenario, all the aforementioned forensics is applicable save for ballistics. Fingerprint investigations strive to match a print left at a crime scene to a print on file or in a database vide a technique for scrutiny called ACE-V, for analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification. Trace evidence found at crime scenes can include paint residue, clothing fibers, or deposits of soil. These samples are then subject to pattern-matching, microscopic, and chemical analysis. Biological evidence encompasses DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) science, which faces the twin challenge of finding it, and then figuring out exactly what it is. The analysis employs chemicals, such as luminol, immunological tests, and microscopic examinations to look for matches on up to 16 short tandem repeat (STR) loci, which vary considerably from person to person. 1.6. Search and Seizure of the Suspect’s Vehicle Searches and seizures are used to produce evidence for the prosecution of alleged criminals. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires that a warrant be issued following a finding of probable cause. The warrant must specify the place to be searched and the persons and things to be seized. The officer may enter and search the vehicle to obtain evidence with or without a search warrant where any of the ‘prescribed circumstances’ such as existence of a weapon or stolen, illegally obtained or tainted property exist. The police also have the power to move a vehicle to an appropriate place for a search, in particular if it is impracticable to search the vehicle where stopped like the busy highway in this case. Further, no warrant is required to seize evidence in plain view if the police are legitimately in the location from which the evidence can be viewed. In addition, because vehicles are obviously highly mobile, a warrant is not required to search vehicles if police have probable cause to believe the vehicle contains evidence of a crime, the instrumentalities of crime, contraband, or the fruits of a crime. 1.7. Identification, Arrest and Recovery of Additional Evidence from the Suspect The police are permitted to enter into premises and homes for the purpose of arresting a suspect with the help of the description given by the dispatcher. The investigating officer will therefore identify the suspect with the help of the dispatcher through a police lineup or photo lineup consisting of people of similar height, build, and complexion. Photo lineups of the suspect and fillers and if the dispatcher identifies the suspect from the fillers, the identification is considered valid (Campbell and Ohm 176) Pursuant to a lawful arrest, the police may conduct a "full search" of the arrested person, and a more limited search of his surrounding area, without a warrant. The officer may subsequently seize any additional evidence in that instance pursuant to Fourth Amendment. Alternatively, the officer may obtain a warrant of arrest or ask for consent from the suspect and then search his home to get additional evidence. Works Cited Campbell, Andrea, and Ralph Ohm. Legal Ease: A Guide to Criminal Law, Evidence, and Procedure (2nd ed.). Springfield, III: Charles Thomas Publisher, 2007. Print. Fabiola Castillo. Crime Scene Forensics - Telling the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Crime Scenes. Web. 2 Mar. 2012 Hayden, Baldwin. Crime Scene Processing a Hazardous Duty. Web. 2 Mar. 2012 Merton, Robert. Social Theory and Social Structure. Free Press: National Institute of Justice. Modules, 1957. Print. Ronald, Akers, and Christine, Seller. Criminological Theories: Student Study Guide for Introduction, Evaluation, and Applications (4th ed.). Eric See: Youngstown State University: 2000. Print. Read More
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