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As technology and scientific methodology evolve, concerns about good or valid science or flawed science also evolve. New methodologies and scientific processes must be carefully evaluated to prove validity. Some processes never attain their hype, some initially appear valid but evolving technology and science later disprove them, while other processes never existed and were simply a dramatic plot twist. It is difficult for the average person to tell the difference.

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, please review the following:

Scientific evidence must be evaluated by forensic experts through a peer review process, which the courts often rely on to determine validity of scientific methods. Similarly, you must carefully evaluate the validity of the material supporting your work. For this assignment, you must use at least three Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible SourcesLinks to an external site. in addition to the course text. You may also want to review the recommended resources, which may further support your work on this written assignment.

In your paper, address the following:

  • Evaluate the evolution of forensic science.
  • Identify examples of scientific methods that have been disproven.
  • Explain the peer review process.
  • Compare and contrast common perceptions to the realities of forensic science.
  • Explain the CSI effect.
  • Evaluate what impact the CSI effect has or does not have on the forensic field and the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate the impact of junk science, real or perceived, on the forensic field and criminal justice.

The Is All Good and True? 

Carefully review the Grading RubricLinks to an external site. for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

1Forensic Science and

Associated Press

Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

â–ª Define forensic science and how it contributes to a case, as well as explain the CSI Effect and the scientific

â–ª Summarize the history of forensic science and contributors to the field.

â–ª List and describe some forensic science specialties.

â–ª Identify the elements of a forensic investigation, how physical evidence can be produced, and forensic

â–ª Describe the work and work product of a forensic scientist.

â–ª Describe the U.S. court system, and the key rulings on physical evidence admissibility through expert

â–ª List and discuss major issues in forensic science today.


2Crime Scene Processing
and Analysis and Forensic



Charles Steele, Purdue University Northwest

Learning Outcomes
After reading this chapter, you should be able to

â–ª Contrast the differences between the types of improvements in quality systems.

â–ª Identify actions to take when initially responding to a crime scene.

â–ª List and describe the steps involved in processing a crime scene.

â–ª Explain the factors and types of information required to reconstruct a crime scene.

â–ª Provide examples of technology used to collect and analyze evidence.

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Crime scene investigations are driven by the principal expressed by Dr. Edmond Locard
(1877–1966), who said that every contact leaves a trace. As people interact with other people,
places, or things, they will inevitably leave something of themselves behind and take some-
thing of the other with them (Saferstein, 1998). It is a crime scene investigator’s job to find
these traces and reassemble them into a complete picture that can tell the courts and jury
what happened.

The forensic investigation of crime scenes requires a wide range of skills and technologies.
Although there are common aspects to all crime scene investigations, every crime is unique.
Skilled crime scene investigators must therefore have a sufficient breadth of knowledge to
correctly evaluate and satisfy these needs.

Forensic investigations typically begin with crime scene processing, which is the first topic of
this chapter (Technical Working Group on Crime Scene Investigation, 2000). The success or
failure of a criminal investigation is often dictated by how well crime scene investigators do
this job. Crime scene processing is all about recognizing, documenting, preserving, and col-
lecting potential evidence and submitting it to the laboratory for analysis. Crime s

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