As potential, future Forensic Scientist, it is important to understand the system of checks and balances that are necessary to introduce forensic evidence in a criminal case. It is also important to be familiar with the case law governing the admissibility of physical evidence. This paper will address the general acceptance criteria governing admissibility, the different categories of evidence, and the court rulings that determine the current standards.
Categories of Evidence.
Evidence can be categorized in many different ways. Evidence can be considered inculpatory or exculpatory (Netzel, Keily & Bell, 2014). This basically means that the evidence presented can either incriminate a suspect or exonerate them respectively. In 1998, Sterling Spann was arrested and imprisoned for murder and sexual assault. Mr. Sterling spent 20 years in prison before the real killer came forth and confessed to the crime (Blume & Helm, 2014). The confession of the real murderer was also corroborated by DNA evidence. In this case the confession of the real killer and the DNA evidence served to exoner...
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...ess what qualifies an individual as an expert witness, and is therefore left to the interpretation of the court (Imwinkelried, 1998).
The Concluding Perspective
It is extremely important for a forensic scientists to understand evidence as it pertains to admissibility (Netzel, Keily & Bell, 2014).
The significance of evidence goes way beyond the laboratory. It is imperative that a forensic scientist understand that often times, it is the product of their hard work and diligence that may inevitably determine life or death, freedom or incarceration of an individual.
When findings of the scientist is presented for evidence in court, it is here that the quality, content and relevancy of the findings are most significant. The rules of evidence must be adhered to, and the work produced must be within the guidelines of either the Frye or Daubert standard of admissibility.
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