Forensic Science

Option 1:

Forensic Science

These discussion questions are taken from your reading of chapters 1 through 4 in the text.  There are enough options that most people can answer a discussion question not answered by others.  The goal is to cover all the topics to allow a wide coverage of the material.

You are called to investigate a death. Upon arrival you are told that you are the lead investigator. It is apparent that it is a homicide and that it occurred in a home. Describe in detail how you will go about processing the scene. Hint – begin with documenting your receipt of the call make sure you include the walk through of the scene and your approach. Then continue on with the assignments. Do this in step format so that it is clear how you are handling the scene. By this I mean that you must number your steps. That is:

1. Date and time call was received…



.10. Date and time crime lab leaves scene…

For illustration purposes I labeled the last step as (10). There may be more steps or fewer steps.

Assume you have adequate personnel to cover the tasks you assign. Lastly, in a comprehensive manner discuss why it is important to follow these steps.


Option 2:  Our text contains a list of common types of physical evidence. Let us do something different on this discussion board. Below is that list of physical evidence types. Select three of these categories of physical evidence THAT HAVE NOT BEEN SELECTED BY ANYONE ELSE IN THE CLASS. Describe a technique(s) to discover the existence of the evidence if it is not easily seen, and how that evidence would be collected and preserved. Collection is how the evidence is handled, picked up, and examined at the crime scene. Preservation is how the evidence is packaged to prevent contamination, loss, or alteration during transportation to and storage in the property/evidence room for later transportation to the crime laboratory.

blood, semen, saliva
firearms and ammunition
organs and physiological fluids
petroleum products
plastic bags
plastic, rubber and other polymers
powder residues
serial numbers
soil and minerals
took marks
vehicle lights
wood and other vegetative matter

Option 3: The crime scene search is a vital pat of a criminal investigation. Select an existing home or office room to which you have access, but do not reveal its location. Identify the crime of crime committed in that space, identify the search pattern you used to search it, and describe evidence found. Knowing the actual evidence of such a non-existing crime will not be there, you may state probable evidence to be found at such a crime and describe its condition and location.  This will take some imagination but should be a fun exercise.

Option 4: You are the first officer at the scene of an outdoor assault. You find the victim bleeding but conscious, with two of the victim’s friends and several onlookers standing nearby. You call for backup and quickly glance around but see no one fleeing the scene.  Describe the steps you would take while waiting for backup and investigators to arrive.

Option 5:  Define evidence with individual characteristics and that with class characteristics and give three examples of each.

Option 6: Describe in some detail CODIS.

Option 7: Which of the discussed conditions examined during autopsy could help the forensic pathologist to determine the time of death since the victim died within 1 to 2 hours of being discovered. Which would be of little or no assistance in that determination?

Option 8: List and briefly define the physical properties radial fractures, concentric fractures, and how the stress marks appear for glass.

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