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34 terms

ch. 1 Forensics

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criminalistics
the examintation of physical evidence
evidence
anything that tends to establish or disprove something
ballistics
the science that deals with the motion, behavior, and effects of prejectiles, most often firearms and bullets
odontology
examination of bite marks and dental identification of corpses
pathology
investigation of sudden, unexplained, or violent death
entomology
the study of insects
palynology
the study of pollen and spores
polygraphy
the use of the lie detector
statutory law
legislative acts declarin, commanding, or prohibiting something
case law or common law
the body of law made up of judicial opinions and precendents
stare decisis
to stand by the decision, meaning previous legal decisions are to be followed
civil law
deals with noncriminal suits brought to pretect or preserve a civil or private right or matter
criminal law
regulation and enforvement of rights setting the acceptable limits of conduct in society
misdemeanor
a minor crime, less than a felony, usually punished with a fine or confinement other than in a prison
felony
a serious crime, such as murder, punishable by more than one year of imprisonment up to execution
probable cause
situation in which a reasonable and prudent person, viewing the available information, would conclude that a crime has been committed and that the suspect committed it
miranda rights
rights guaranteed by the constitution that police must tell arrestees about, especially the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney
booking
a police procedure following arrest that requests basic information about the suspect a photograph, finger prints and perhaps a line up.
arraignment
the first act in a criminal proceding where the defendant is brought before the court to hear charges and enter a plea
nolo contendere
in a criminal law suit a defendant neither admits nor denies a crime but accepts punishment as though he or she were guilty
prelimenary or evidentiary hearing
a hearing before a judge to determine whether a person charged with a crime should be held with trial, also sometimes called a prelimenary examination
bail
money put up to guarentee that the defendant will appear in court as directed a bonds man will pay the bail for a fee of 10 % of the bail ammount if the defendant doesn't appear when the time comes the bonds man may hire bounty hunters to find and return the suspect.
grand jury
a group of people sworn to inquire into crime and if appropriate bring accusations against the suspected criminals
indict
to formaly accuse a person of a crime
plea bargaining
an agreement in which a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor drops more serious chargers to avoid the cost and time of the trial.
violation
a breach of a right, duty, or law
infraction
violation of a rule or law that is not punishable by prison
probative
in evidence law, tending to prove something
material
in evidence law, relivent and significant, a material witness has information about the subject.
hearsay
testimony given by a witness who relates not what she or he heard, saw, or knew personally, but what others have said. the knowledge is dependent on the credibility of the other person.and therefore is not admissible in court unless it meets a hearsay exception
expert witness
a person who is a specialist in a subject often technical who may present his or her expert opinion without actually witnessing any occurence relating to the case this is an exception to the rule against giving an opinion in trial provided that the expert is qualified by his or her expertise, training, and special knowledge.
frye standard
commonly called the general acceptence test, this dictates the scientific evidence is admissible at trial only if the methodology or scientific principle on which the opinion is based is sufficiently established to have the general acceptence in the particular field in which it belongs
daubert ruling
updated revision of the frye standard for admissilbility of expert scientific evidence that emplisitly endures a classical definition of the scientific method including hypothesis testing estimates of error rates peer review of publication and general acceptance
junk science
theories based on distorted flawed or untested hypothesis not derived from or tested by the scientific method