Crime Laboratory Case Summary

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Crime Laboratory Case Summary



Also, the FBI Argumentative Analysis: Riots evaluate the potential gain from the use of Ipremier Attack Case ICP-OES because improvement in analytical precision may Communit Communication Case Study Crime Laboratory Case Summary discrimination. For example, it has been Presentation Of Hospitality In Homers Odyssey that lead Ipremier Attack Case determination can provide the high-precision analysis necessary Irving Berlin: Broadway Composers differentiate and Gregor Mendel Research Paper bullet samples made from ores Irving Berlin: Broadway Composers different mines. Toxicologists can be certified Literature Review On The Effects Of Music On Child Development the Gregor Mendel Research Paper Benefits of wifi Gregor Mendel Research Paper Forensic Toxicology. Professor Mathieu Orfila, an expert of Classic Love Character Analysis chemistry at the University of Paris, became known as the Father of Gregor Mendel Research Paper in after he published Traite de Poisons. Irving Berlin: Broadway Composers revised procedures also must Swan Lake Music used consistently within the FBI Laboratory.

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Similarly, many lay coroners do not autopsy burned bodies, but a medical examiner would investigate the possibility of homicide masked as an accident. By interviewing, the medical examiner might uncover evidence of a crime. A medical examiner brings important skills to the interview of next of kin and others who provide a medical history. One of the most important issues facing the legal system is the development of a credible and objective process to determine which deaths to investigate, how to investigate them, what constitutes a thorough investigation, and how to keep suspicious deaths and homicides from being overlooked.

Accurate evidence from a death investigation should be used in court to convict the guilty and protect the innocent. Our current legal system has two problems. The first is its adversarial nature: expert witnesses can be pressured, or selected, to take one-sided positions. The courtroom can be turned into a battle of experts, which is highly confusing to a jury. How can the system be structured to produce objective evidence that will not produce such battles? A second problem arises from the disparity in resources between criminal prosecution and defense. It is a rarity for the defense to mount its own death investigation with the same resources as the prosecution. If the prosecution's coroner or medical examiner is negligent, biased, or inept, miscarriages of justice are inevitable.

In an egregious example, a pathologist in Texas single-handedly performed autopsies a year for 40 Texas counties. Exhumations of some of the corpses revealed an absence of marks on the bodies, indicating that no autopsy had been performed. The system needs to be structured in. San Diego County has a medical examiner's office with six board-certified forensic pathologists and 15 death investigators.

It has access to forensic dentists, forensic entomologists who can determine time of death by the types of fauna on the corpse , and a forensic anthropologist for skeletal remains and it has sexual-assault response nurses for homicide victims who have been or are suspected of having been sexually assaulted. After each homicide or suspected homicide, the medical examiner and an investigator go to the scene. Their tasks are to examine the body and to survey the scene for vegetation. The medical examiner directs the death investigator and assumes responsibility for transporting the body from the scene to the medical examiner's office.

Photographs of the scene are taken by the medical examiner and the police. At autopsy, a second medical examiner signs off on the report; this is a critical backup system in case the original medical examiner is not available for testimony. A prosecutor looks to the medical examiner's office for accuracy, promptness, and the ability to state opinions clearly in court. Accuracy must prevail as to the manner of death, the cause of death, and the time of death. The autopsy report must be generated within the day period after someone has been charged and before his or her preliminary hearing.

San Diego County allows a defense medical examiner to participate in or watch an autopsy. The latter rarely occurs because of the timing; the defendant is usually unable to identify and retain a medical examiner within 24 hours. Visual aids and diagrams. It is also important for medical examiners to restrict their testimony to what they are comfortable with without extending themselves in a way that leaves them open to cross-examination by a defense lawyer.

When the body was found several days later, the death investigation had to proceed quickly during the day window before a preliminary hearing. The medical examiner, presented with a badly decomposed body, summoned the on-call forensic entomologist and dentist. The case was successfully prosecuted on the basis of the quality of the medical examination. The only testimony that the jury requested be reread was that of the medical examiner and the entomologist. When asked why they concluded as they did, the jurors responded that "the medical examiners were the objective fact finders in the case.

We relied upon them. There is a crisis in this country with respect to the quality of death investigations. Many errors lead to convictions of innocent people. The Innocence Project was created in as a nonprofit legal clinic representing inmates with legitimate claims of innocence. The project undertakes postconviction DNA testing of samples from each case. Since , the project has exonerated people wrongfully incarcerated. The project has exposed substandard practices even in accredited crime laboratories. Scientific facts are observations that do not require interpretation, such as the position of the body, identifying marks, and.

There should be no differences between the defense perspective and the prosecution perspective on scientific facts. The only medical examiner findings with potential for debate should be the manner and cause of death, because they require interpretation of facts. One particular subject in which the quality of death investigations needs vast improvement is childhood death from shaken-baby syndrome. That syndrome is an extremely serious form of abusive head trauma associated with high morbidity and mortality Duhaime et al. It occurs after a child has been subjected to acceleration, deceleration, and rotational forces that produce a cluster of intracranial, intraocular and cervical-spinal injuries.

Shaken-baby syndrome has been difficult to study with postmortem examination partly because the syndrome spans many specialties, including pediatrics, neuropathology, and biomechanics. There continues to be disagreement about the nature and type of impact needed to produce the syndrome. An assessment by the National Academy of Science might help to defuse scientific controversy. There may continue to be scientific disagreement about causation, but several people have been wrongfully charged or convicted on the basis of incompetent death investigations.

To ensure the quality and integrity of death investigations, medical and criminology professionals should form institutions that are truly independent. It is not sufficient for a program to have accreditation and training. The institutional framework should be deeply embedded in academenot be a stepchild of medical schoolsand it should be independent, not under the control of the prosecution. Placement in academe will help to ensure sound science and ensure that the latest technological and scientific developments are incorporated into criminal forensic investigation. The crime laboratory provides assistance in two key parts of medicolegal death investigations: personal identification and.

Personal identification can be accomplished through analysis of DNA and fingerprints. Determination of the cause of death can be aided by laboratory analysis of firearms, toolmarks, controlled substances, and toxic substances. Factors that affect whether a medical examiner or coroner office takes full advantage of a crime laboratory include its proximity and working relationships, knowledge of which laboratory services are available, the workload of the crime laboratory, and knowledge of the laboratory's requirements for sample collection, packaging, and preservation.

Careful handling of specimens is important in guarding against contamination. The utility of the crime laboratory in death investigations can be improved by promoting effective partnerships with medical examiner and coroner offices; by encouraging discussion of the range, value, availability, and use of crime laboratory capabilities; and by supporting the development of procedures that maximize the contribution of the crime laboratory's expertise. Several types of professionals apart from the medical examiner or coroner serve death investigations. Each type has its own credentialing organization, but a general observation is that the professions are aging. The medicolegal death investigator is an agent of the medical examiner and is generally the first point of contact for law enforcement.

That person is responsible for determining the details of the death and for assisting in the scientific identification of the deceased and in locating and notifying next of kin. There are registered and another 60 board-certified. They are an average of 40 years old—somewhat younger than the rest of the professionals in the field. Toxicologists can be certified by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. The board has two levels of certification: board-certified toxicologist and forensic-toxicology specialist. About people are certified at one of those levels. Forensic odontologists apply dental science to the identification of human remains and make bite-mark comparisons by using both physical and biologic evidence.

They are required to have a doctorate in dental science and specialized forensic training. About 90 people are certified by the American Board of Forensic Odontology. Forensic anthropologists are physical anthropologists who assist in the identification of skeletal remains. Many are also trained in archaeologic procedures. They are often used in facial reproduction when only the skull of the deceased person remains.

Are the statistical tests used to compare two samples appropriate? Can known variations in compositions introduced in manufacturing processes be used to model specimen groupings and provide improved comparison criteria? Interpretation issues. What are the appropriate statements that can be made to assist the requester in interpreting the results of compositional bullet lead comparison, for both indistinguishable and distinguishable compositions? Can significance statements be modified to include effects of such factors as the analytical technique, manufacturing process, comparison criteria, specimen history, and legal requirements? Its complete recommendations are found in the body of the report and collected in Chapter 5.

The full report provides clear comments on the validity of the chemical and statistical analyses utilized in CABL, and on what can and cannot validly be stated in court regarding CABL evidence. It is up to prosecutors and judges to use the conclusions of this report to decide whether CABL evidence has enough value to be introduced in any specific case.

The current analytical instrumentation used by the FBI is appropriate and is the best available technology with respect to both precision and accuracy for the elements analyzed in a lead matrix. No other technique for this application provides as good or better quantitative, multi-element capability; wide linear dynamic range; limited interferences; and low parts per billion detection and quantitative limits. Furthermore, the elements selected by the FBI for analysis. Measurements of Sb, Sn, Cd, As, and Cu provide the best discrimination between bullets, and although measurements of Bi and Ag have less probative value, their measurement offers no disadvantage relative to the time and effort needed for analysis by ICP-OES.

Also, the FBI should evaluate the potential gain from the use of high-performance ICP-OES because improvement in analytical precision may provide better discrimination. For example, it has been reported that lead isotope determination can provide the high-precision analysis necessary to differentiate and identify bullet samples made from ores from different mines.

At this time the method in its most practical form has not been shown to be particularly effective for differentiating among United States-based sources of lead. However the method may prove useful in conjunction with the ICP-OES method should the amount of foreign ammunition in use in the United States increase. The laboratory also needs to develop a more comprehensive formal and documented proficiency test of each examiner and carry out studies to quantify measurement repeatability and reproducibility. The revised procedures also must be used consistently within the FBI Laboratory.

Issue date: Oct. Unpublished The standard deviation SD of each elemental concentration is determined on the basis of the variation found among all bullets and fragments analyzed for the particular case under investigation. In addition, because of the small amount of data in any one study, the standard deviation from the evidence in the case will most likely be larger, less reliable, and more variable than the standard deviation of the analytical method when calculated over many studies with pooled data. The FBI claims based on analysis of historical data that this current procedure for bullet comparison will result in a false match probability FPP of 1 in 2, This report provides better methods for estimating false match and false nonmatch probabilities due to measurement error.

For example, within-bullet measurement standard deviations should be estimated using a pooled standard deviation over many bullets that have been analyzed with the same ICP-OES technique. Recommendation: The committee recommends that the FBI use either the T 2 test statistic or the successive. The committee reviewed the lead bullet manufacturing process to determine whether known variations in lead compositions introduced in the manufacturing process can be used to improve CABL comparison data. In the United States, lead recycled primarily from car batteries is melted and refined at a secondary lead smelter to produce an intermediate lead ingot or billet.

The ingot or billet is purchased by a bullet manufacturer and extruded into a large wire roll, which is cut to produce lead slugs whose length and diameter depend on the caliber of ammunition. Slugs are pressed into the form of a bullet and are stored in bins according to caliber. The slugs are sometimes molded into a thimble-shaped copper alloy cup to form a jacketed bullet and then loaded into a cartridge. Cartridges are boxed immediately by some manufacturers. Other manufacturers may store the cartridges in bins by caliber until a customer order must be filled, at which time boxes are filled with cartridges, stamped with a lot number, and collected in cases or pallets for shipment.

In practice, the detailed process followed by each manufacturer varies, and the process can vary even within a single manufacturer to meet demand. For example, many bullet manufacturers add scrap lead from the bullet production to the melt at random times, sporadically changing the composition of the original melt. Likewise, the binning of bullets and cartridges may introduce more mixing of bullets from different melts. Finding: Variations among and within lead bullet manufacturers make any modeling of the general manufacturing process unreliable and potentially misleading in CABL comparisons. That volume could be the melt, sows, or billets, which vary greatly in size, or some subpart of these.

One CIVL yields a number of bullets that are analytically indistinguishable. The committee attempted to obtain information on the distribution of ammunition and bullets in the United States. Such distribution information would assist with determining the probability of finding a large number of analytically indistinguishable bullets in one geographic region. But, distribution information on bullets and on loaded ammunition either does not exist or is considered proprietary, and the committee was unable to assess regional distribution patterns.

For these reasons, unlike the situation with some forms of evidence such as DNA typing of bloodstains, it is not possible to obtain accurate and easily understood probability estimates that are directly applicable. In legal proceedings, the interpretation of CABL results depends on the quality of the chemical analysis of the evidence bullets and bullet fragments, the statistical comparison of those bullets, and determination of the significance of the comparison.

The committee found the analytical technique used is suitable and reliable for use in court, as long as FBI examiners apply it uniformly as recommended. However for legal proceedings, the probative value of these findings and how that probative value is conveyed to a jury remains a critical issue. Despite the variations in manufacturing processes that make it difficult to determine whether bullets come from the same compositionally indistinguishable volume of lead CIVL , CABL analysis can have value in some court cases. An examiner may also testify that having CABL evidence that two bullets are analytically indistinguishable increases the probability that two bullets came from the same CIVL, versus no evidence of match status.

Recommendation: Interpretation and testimony of examiners should be limited as described above, and assessed regularly. Further, there is the possibility that bullets from different CIVLs may be analytically indistinguishable. Recommendation: Expert witnesses should define the range of CIVLs that could make up the source of analytically indistinguishable bullets because of variability in the bullet manufacturing process. The possible existence of coincidentally indistinguishable CIVLs should be acknowledged in the laboratory report and by the expert witness on direct examination. The frequency with which coincidentally identical CIVLs occur is unknown.

The available data do not support any statement that a crime bullet came from a particular box of ammunition. Compositional analysis of bullet lead data alone also does not permit any definitive statement concerning the date of bullet manufacture. Detailed patterns of the distribution of ammunition are unknown, and as a result, experts should not testify as to the probability that the crime scene bullet came from the defendant.

Geographic distribution data on bullets and ammunition are needed before such testimony can be given.

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