Science

An in Depth Look at the Role of Forensic Science and its Impact on Justice

lso examines the potential for injustice in terms of the CSI effect and the contamination of evidence in the collection and analyses of forensic evidence. It is suggested that attending problems associated with the pitfalls of the use of forensic science are outweighed by its positive role in and impact on the administration of justice. Table of Contents Abstract 4 Table of Contents 5 Chapter One 7 Introduction to the Study 7 Introduction 7 Research Questions 9 Aims and Objectives of the Study 10 Significance of the Study 11 Research Methodology 12 Ethics 13 Organization of the Study 13 Chapter Two 14 A Review of the Literature 14 Introduction 14 The Effective and Efficient Use of Forensic Science in the Administration of Justice 15 Factors Compromising the Effective and Efficient Use of Forensic Science in the Administration of Justice 19 The CSI Effect 19 The Collection, Analysis and Presentation of Forensic Evidence 26 Conclusion 31 Chapter Three 31 Case Studies: The Role of Forensic Science in the Administration of Justice 31 Introduction 31 Stephen Lawrence 32 Case Background 32 Trial 34 Amanda Knox 38 Case Background 38 The Trial 39 The Appeal 41 Steve Wright 44 Case Background 44 The Trial 46 Mark Dixie 48 Case Background 48 The Trial 48 Colin Pitchfork 50 Case Background 50 The Trial 51 Shirley McKie 52 Case Background 52 The Trial 54 O.J. Simpson 54 Case Background 54 The Trial 55 Chapter Four 59 Research Findings 59 Chapter Five 70 Conclusion/Recommendations 70 Conclusion 70 Recommendations 73 Chapter One Introduction to the Study Introduction In the course of a trial, contemporary forensic science comes under greater scrutiny than any other form of evidence (Saks &amp. Koehler, 1991). Methods of collection and analyses of forensic evidence are typically…
This research study also examines the potential for injustice in terms of the CSI effect and the contamination of evidence in the collection and analyses of forensic evidence. It is suggested that attending problems associated with the pitfalls of the use of forensic science are outweighed by its positive role in and impact on the administration of justice.
In the course of a trial, contemporary forensic science comes under greater scrutiny than any other form of evidence (Saks &amp. Koehler, 1991). Methods of collection and analyses of forensic evidence are typically challenged by the party against whom the evidence is tendered (Saks &amp. Koehler, 1991). Therefore when forensic science stands up to rigorous scrutiny and challenge it is typically the highest standard of evidence (Koppl, 2005). On the contrary, erroneous calculations, analyses, cross contamination and poor collection procedures can render forensic science meaningless and at times detrimental to its goal of finding the truth (Saks et. al., 2001).
According to Saks et. al. (2001) practice and standards of collection and analyses of forensic evidence is the key to the reliability of forensic science. When forensic evidence is reliably collected and analysed, the role of forensic science in the administration of justice is to “extract the truth” (Koppl, 2005, p. 255). It therefore follows that when forensic science is used properly and appropriately, its primary impact on the criminal justice system is to ensure that culpability is reliably assessed and innocent persons are exonerated. Jayewardene (1988) puts the role of forensic science in simple terms.

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