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Forensics Exam: Short Answers
Terms in this set (53)
ordinary/lay witness- testifies on events or observations that arise from personal knowledge
expert witness- evaluates evidence and renders opinions
Discuss the differences between the ordinary/lay witness and the expert witness testimonies
confessions, eyewitness accounts by victims or witness, and the evaluation of physical evidence from the crime scene
What are the three major avenues available to police investigators for assistance in solving a crime?
refers to the dramatization of forensic science by tv; it gives people an unrealistic expectation on how fast an investigation happens and how fast evidence is processed
What is meant by the "CSI" effect?
an individual determined by the courts to have knowledge of a profession or in a field that is uncommon of the average layperson; evaluation of evidence and input helps the court seek the truth
What is an expert witness?
the study of human behavior; determine whether a person is competent to stand trial
What does forensic psychiatry encompass?
Study of insects to estimate the time of death
What does forensic entomology encompass?
identification and examination of skeletal remains
What does forensic anthropology encompass?
investigation of sudden, unnatural, unexplained, or violent deaths
What does forensic pathology encompass?
physical science, biology, firearms, document examination, and photography unit
List the 5 units found in most general crime labs
more crime, more drug-related crime, and a greater need for physical evidence
Name 3 reasons the number of crime labs in the US has increased since the 1960s
FBI, DEA, ATFE, USPIS
List the 4 major crime labs in the US
realized that DNA was unique to an individual, and that it could be used to identify people
What were Sir Alec Jeffreys contributions to forensic science?
established the Institute of criminalists in France; created "Locard's Exchange Principle" which states that every contact leaves a trace
What were Edmond Locard's two main contributions to forensic science?
application of science to the civil and criminal laws enforced by police agencies within a system of justice
What is a good definition of forensic science?
civil law- filed by a private party; if found guilty, defendant pays the plaintiff for losses caused by their actions
criminal law- filed by the government; penalties include incarceration, fine, and/or execution
Discuss the differences between civil and criminal law
provide medical assistance and/or make an arrest, secure scene from all unauthorized personnel, call for backup/assistance, and isolate the area
List 4 tasks the first officer arriving at a crime scene must do
size and locale of the location and the number of collectors participating in the search
What three factors affect the search pattern at a crime scene?
to move the evidence from the crime scene to the lab with the least amount of change as possible
What is the goal of collecting and packaging evidence?
similar items and different items found at different locations are packaged separately
What is the most important point about evidence collection?
PDQ- automotive paint data
What kind of information is stored in the SICAR, PDQ, and NIBIN?
examine the stage development of the fly larvae
How can forensic entomologists estimate how long a body has been left exposed?
coroner- can basically be anyone, and may or may not have a medical degree
medical examiner- physician that is certified
Explain the differences between a coroner and a medical examiner
decomposition and extensive trauma can make it difficult
Why can identification of the deceased be complicated?
traffic accidents, drug overdosing, and drownings
Name three main causes of accidental deaths
fires and electrocution
Name 2 events that, although they look accidental, may be homicide or suicide
keep in mind that the outside injuries might not coincide with the severity of the internal injuries
What should a pathologist keep in mind when examining blunt-force injuries?
if lack of wounds, this would show that the victim was either unconscious or tied up during the assault
In sharp-force cases, why is it important to examine the victim for defensive wounds?
levels of carbon monoxide and if there is the presence of soot in the lungs
Describe 2 ways to determine if a victim was alive during a fire
distance from the weapon to the target
What is one of the most important factors in characterizing a gunshot wound?
to determine the cause of death and confirm the manner of death
What is the goal of a forensic/medicolegal autopsy?
blunt force injury, sharp force injury, asphyxia, gunshot wound, and substance abuse
What are five of the more common cause of death?
variety of conditions that involves the interference of the intake of oxygen
What is asphyxia?
the result of heat loss by a body
Define algor mortis
the result of settling blood in areas of the body closest to the ground
Define livor mortis
the result of shortening muscle tissue and the stiffening of body parts in the position at death
Define rigor mortis
a single test used to specifically identify a substance
What is a confirmation?
a preliminary test used to reduce the amount of possible identities of an unknown substance
What is a screening test?
bc the results will have a direct bearing on the process for determining the innocence or guilt of a defendant
Why should forensic drug analysis leave NO room for error?
the weight of the drug, or its concentration in a mixture
What may the severity of a penalty associated with the manufacture distribution, possession, and use of a drug depend upon?
depressants; slow down the central nervous system
In what class of drugs do alcohol and barbiturates belong? What is the main physiological effect of such drugs?
What is the most widely abused drug in the US?
substance that produces sleep and relieves pain
What is the pharmacological definition of a narcotic?
conditioned use of a drug caused by the underlying emotional needs
Define psychological dependence
physiological need produced by regular use of a drug and characterized by withdrawal sickness from when administration of the drug abruptly stops
Define physical dependence
natural or synthetic substance that produces physiological and psychological effects in humans or other higher-order animals; more than 75% of evidence evaluated in crime labs is drug-related
What is a drug? How has drug use affected the growth of crime laboratories in the US?
Intoxicant- (ex: alcohol) required a LARGE amount to be lethal
Poison- (ex: cyanide) requires a relatively SMALL amount
Explain the differences between an intoxicant vs. a poison
Used to determine whether a bloodstain is of human or animal origin; strengths: very sensitive, requires only a small amount of blood, and old stains still give positive results
What is the purpose of the precipitin Test? Name 3 strengths of the precipitin Test.
When you get behind the wheel, you agree to be tested for alcohol
What is meant by the "implied consent" law?
Interaction of alcohol and barbiturates in the body can produce a(n) _____________________ effect
To preserve physical evidence
Why should a rape victim undergo a medical examination as soon as possible after the assault? Why should the rape victim NOT shower or change clothes?
Screening and confirmation
Both __________ and __________ tests must be incorporated into the drug-testing protocol of a toxicology laboratory to ensure the correctness of the laboratory's conclusions.
1) Is it blood?
2) from what species did the blood originate?
3) if human, how closely can it be associated with a particular person?
What 3 questions must the criminalist answer when examining dried blood?
anticoagulant- to keep it from clotting
preservative- inhibit microbes
What substances are typically added to blood that is collected from a subject before it is sent to a toxicology lab? Why are they added?
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
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