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Forensic Criminology

Essay by   •  April 27, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,106 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,193 Views

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There are so many things that could go wrong during the investigation of a crime scene. So many things can happen there that will send evidence right out of the court room. Policies and procedures have to be followed if you want to be able to enter all of the evidence that is collected from the scene. Blood has to be collected from the scene, and like everything else, there are the right ways to do that to allow it as evidence in court.

According to information retrieved from Barry and David Fisher (1981), there are some similarities as well as differences in collecting liquid and dried or moist blood from a crime scene:

* For both collections, you can either use a cotton swab, filter paper, or cotton gauze.

* They both have to be air dried before they can be packaged.

* For liquid collection, one would put the swab into the blood until it is saturated, let it dry, and then package it.

* For dry/moist blood collection, one would use the cotton swab, but moistened with distilled water, air dry and then package it.

According to Barry and David Fisher (1981), there are health protective measures that must be taken when dealing with the collection or examination of crime scene evidence such as blood, sperm, saliva, and urine. The rationale behind this concern is because of the dangers of blood-borne diseases that some biological products may contain such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and even HIV. It is required that personnel use protective equipment such as Tyvek suits, lab coats, gloves, masks, goggles, and face shields. The use of surgical gloves should be practiced when working with any biological products, and when working with a razor blade for scraping evidence, cut resistant gloves should always be worn. Also, one should never eat, smoke or drink in areas that there are biological products. There are many instances where you should take precaution and utilize the above safety measures, and it is up to you to determine which measure is appropriate for the situation at hand.

There are many techniques and processes that must be followed when dealing with biological products: making sure that the evidence has been photographed before it is disturbed; taking the appropriate safety measures; collecting the evidence without contaminating it; packaging and labeling it appropriately; documenting everything; and then transporting it to the appropriate places. All of this has to be done accurately and carefully to keep from destroying or contaminating any evidence. If any of the evidence appears to have been altered in any way, then it will not hold up in court; assuming it is allowed to be entered.

While handling biological products, evidence contamination is always a possibility. According to information retrieved from Multnomah County Sherriff's Office (2008), there are techniques that can be utilized to prevent this from happening: first, and probably the most obvious, is to always wear gloves when handling evidence; changing your gloves when they become contaminated will prevent contaminating future evidence that you handle; changing your gloves after each piece of evidence you handle will prevent cross contamination; do not touch the tips of cotton swabs, tweezers, or scissors; do not contaminate tools such as cotton swabs by allowing them to get dirty, talking over them, or blowing on them to dry them; and clean tools that you are using with a ten percent bleach solution make sure they dry completely.

According to information retrieved from Barry and David Fisher (1981), there are specific ways to package biological evidence to keep them from becoming contaminated, destroyed, or losing its usefulness for trial. First it is imperative to remember that biological evidence that is packaged while it is still wet or moist, will deteriorate and not be able to be used as evidence in the future. So therefore, all

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