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Forensic Evidence is Vital to Criminal Investigations

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At every crime scene there is evidence and evidence is the vital part of crime scene investigation. From the time an officer arrives on the scene until a conviction of the perpetrator evidence is the key element in determining the guilt or innocence of those accused. A poorly conducted crime scene investigation can sometimes either destroy evidence or render it useless. The possibility of tainted evidence, miss-handled evidence, or lack of evidence, the guilty can go free or the wrongful convicted. When someone is convicted or acquitted wrongly it has an adverse effect on the entire criminal justice system.

Evidence can range from body fluids, to weapons, to witnesses and DNA. Understanding and implementing the proper logistics of crime evidence and the proper use of forensic technology is the key. Evidence can not only establish the facts of an offense and identify the offender; it may even lead to a conviction.

A Crime Scene Investigator must first approach the crime scene as if it is their only opportunity to protect and retrieve physical evidence. There are special technics and tools that crime scene investigators use to retrieve, preserve, and label all types of evidence (for lists of Crime Scene Equipment see Appendix A). The general protocol for crime scene investigation, processing, and analysis involves five basic steps: interview, examine, photograph, sketch and process (Berg, 2008). When looking at the crime scene it needs to be looked at with fresh eyes and without a prejudiced opinion of what happened, how it happened, or who might have done it. A conclusion may be based solely on the evidence and so an investigators integrity and judgment, gathering the evidence, maybe what stands between a conviction and a dis...

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National Institute of Justice. (2007, October). Forensic Databases: Paint, Shoe Prints and Beyond. Retrieved March 3, 2012, from NIJ Journal No. 258: http://www.nij.gov/journals/258/forensic-databases.html

North Carolina General Assembly. (n.d.). Admissibility of Forensic Evidence. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from Article 7 C .8 58.20: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_8/GS_8-58.20.html

North Carolina General Assembly. (n.d.). Evidence Code Article 1. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from Chapter 8c-1.: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByChapter/Chapter_8C.pdf

North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. (2010, January). Evidence Guide. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://www.iape.org/manuals/No%20Carolina%20Evidence%20Guide%20(2010).pdf

Siegel, L. J. (2011). Criminal Justice. Belmont: Wadsworth.
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