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analytical skills

the ability to identify a concept or problem, to isolate its component parts, to organize information for decision making, to establish criteria for evaluation, and to draw appropriate conclusions

deductive reasoning

deriving the consequences from the facts using a series of logical steps


a person who has seen someone or something and can communicate these facts


a statement or assertion of information that can be verified


relating to the application of scientific knowledge to legal questions


conclusions drawn from assumptions and known facts


what a person percieves using his or her senses


personal belief founded on judgment rather than direct experience or knowledge


interpreting information received from the senses

Innocence Project

re-examined post-conviction cases (individuals convicted and in prison) using DNA evidence to provide conclusive proof of guilt or innocence; found that 87% of their wrongful convictions resulted from faulty eyewitness accounts

Four ways to be a good observer

1. Make a conscious effort to examine environment systematically.
2. Turn off mental filters
3. Do not interpret or jump to conclusions
4. Photograph everything (our memories are faulty)

First three things forensics scientists do

find, examine, and evaluate evidence from a crime scene

Paul Ekman

he was th first to determine that a human face has 10,000 possible configurations and identified which muscles are used in each; created the Facial Action Coding System.

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