What is Forensic Science?

Forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws, mainly, on the criminal side, during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure. (Investigator, 2018). This can help specialists to better understand where the source of evidence like drugs and trace materials, how blood splatter occurs during the time of a crime and help to find the identity of an unknown suspect. Undeniably, with forensic science there are many kinds of fields that use forensic science for many kinds of jobs, but they are all tied together with getting the same end results, interpret the evidence that is collected during investigations. A few of the forensic science jobs include criminalist, this person will look at the physical evidence from crime scenes, the offenders, and victims. Forensic toxicologist who analyze poisons and other toxic substances in a person’s body. Forensic pathologist who examine dead bodies and forensic physical anthropologists who examine skeletal remains. Fingerprint examiner that are also known as forensic print analysis that are responsible for finding hidden fingerprints, preserving them, studying and evaluating them. As I already stated, the purpose for all these jobs is to collect, preserve the evidence, and analyze the evidence from crime scenes. There are many more jobs within this field, but these are my personal favorites because they are the most intriguing and peculiar.

Forensic scientists help law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, and juries in delivering justice by providing results and conclusion; hence they work in forensic science laboratories associated with law enforcement or other governmental agencies that have ethical codes developed specifically for their organizations. (Health, 2017). Though you can solve cases without forensic science, but it is more difficult to solve them without it. Today, we rely on technology, that if we lost that privilege, most people would not survive for very long. This is the same with forensic science, sometimes during cases it’s the forensic science that solves the case and other times it’s getting new eyes looking at the evidence or re-examining the facts of the case. There are many kinds of equipment today that help experts to solve crimes, such as a Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry or is also known as (LA-ICP-MS). This device is used when broken glass is involved in a crime, putting together even tiny pieces can be key to finding important clues like the direction of bullets, the force of impact or the type of weapon used in a crime. Another gadget that is used if called an alternative light photography, this is for a forensic nurse, being able to quickly ascertain how much physical damage a patient has suffered can be the difference between life and death. A camera such as the Omni chrome uses blue light and orange filters to clearly show bruising below the skin’s surface. Third, the DNA Sequencer, this device is used to analyze old bones or teeth to determine the specific ordering of a person’s DNA nucleobases and generate a read or a unique DNA pattern that can help identify that person as a possible suspect or criminal. Lastly, a Magnetic Fingerprinting and Automated Fingerprint Identification or AFIS. Crime scene investigators, forensic scientists and police officers can quickly and easily compare a fingerprint at a crime scene with an extensive virtual database. In addition, the incorporation of magnetic fingerprinting dust and no-touch wanding allows investigators to get a perfect impression of fingerprints at a crime scene without contamination. (Becker, 2013-2018). You cannot always rely on technology and gadgets because at times, may be wrong.

Today, modern DNA testing is considered the most reliable of all the forensic tools because it is 99.9% accurate. Within DNA testing, there is DNA fingerprinting that is also known as the most reliable took of forensic science. Alec Jeffrey’s, a British geneticist in September of 1984 uncovered DNA fingerprinting. It had to undergo extensive experimentation and validation before it was recognized as a reliable tool. It has been successfully used as a tool to point out the perpetrator of a crime, to identify the lineage of the crime and exempt the people who are wrongfully convicted. (Forensics, 2012). Fingerprint analysis assumes that all fingerprints are unique and different, but peer researchers have not adequately critiqued it. With this there are different types of ways to identify fingerprints, examples include latent fingerprints, visible fingerprints, plastic fingerprints, dusting latent fingerprints, and lifting prints, all of which are done at crime scenes. Fingerprints can be found on any hard, smooth, nonporous surface can contain latent fingerprints. You do not powder a print unless it is necessary, and do not powder a visible print until after you photograph it. Fingerprints are positive evidence of a person’s identity. They cannot, however, indicate a person’s age, sex or race.

Below is an example of a cold case that was solved from using forensic science in 1995 in Utah.

Cold Case Murder of Krystal Beslanowitch, 1995: Solved through forensic technologies.

A determined cop who was the original investigator into the murder of Krystal Beslanowitch 18 years ago in Utah helped bring resolution to this case. As The Huffington Post reports, Sheriff Todd Bonner just couldn’t let the case go. She was 17 years old when she died from a crushing blow to the skull. A prostitute, her body was found in 1995 along the Provo River. Leads at the time only led to dead-ends, but investigators finally got somewhere in 2013, when new forensic technologies, taking a full day, were used to extract touch DNA from the granite rock that crushed her skull. In fact, a tool called a forensic vacuum allowed for the DNA extraction. The DNA matched to a Joseph Michael Simpson, who had been a resort bus driver in the area at the time. Simpson, now 46, was arrested in Florida in September of 2013. (Colleges, 2018).

Forensic scientists help law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, and juries in delivering justice by providing conclusions. The science behind it is fascinating and if it had not been discovered in 1984 by Alec Jeffrey, it would be more difficult to solve crimes today. With how many cold cases are out there these days, hopefully experts and scientists will be able to solve more of them like the case of Krystal Beslanowitch. We should be using this technology to catch those who take innocent lives. To bring peace to those families who have gone without their loved ones. It is not fair to them, they and the ones they are missing deserve justice.

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