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ANTH 2220 - Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, Criminal Justice System & Forensic Evidence

by: Jazmine Beckstrand

ANTH 2220 - Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, Criminal Justice System & Forensic Evidence ANTH 2220-01

Marketplace > University of Utah > ANTH 2220-01 > ANTH 2220 Introduction to Forensic Anthropology Criminal Justice System Forensic Evidence
Jazmine Beckstrand
The U
GPA 4.0
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About this Document

These notes cover the course material for the first week of class.
Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
Derinna Kopp
Class Notes
Forensic, ForensicAnthropology, CriminalJustice, ForensicEvidence




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jazmine Beckstrand on Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 2220-01 at University of Utah taught by Derinna Kopp in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views.

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Date Created: 08/30/16
Week 1: Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, Criminal Justice System & Forensic Evidence Definitions Key Concepts Locations * = on exam Forensic Sciences Forensic science: the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions relevant to the legal system. Involves the gathering, identification, and interpretation of pieces of evidence  that may be used in a criminal or civil law suit.  Application of scientific methods and theory to questions of legal significance  Multidisciplinary Crime Scene Investigation: involves on-site investigation of the physical crime scene.  Usually police officers that have been trained for duty in crime scene units Forensic Anthropology: the application of the science of physical anthropology to the legal process.  The identification of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise unidentified human remains is important for both legal and humanitarian reasons.  Apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to identify human remains, and to assist in the detection of crime.  Frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odonatologists, and homicide investigators.  Work to suggest the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of a decedent from the skeleton. Forensic Pathology: medical doctors trained in forensic pathology who determine the cause and manner of death for individuals who have died suspiciously or under other circumstances as prescribed by state law.  Cause of death = the disease or injury responsible for the lethal sequence of events.  Manner of death = explains how the cause of death arose.  Natural death  Non-natural death (including accident, homicide, suicide, or undetermined). Forensic Odontology: deals with the handling, examination, and presentation of dental evidence in court.  Involves identifying the person, assessing the age of the victim, and signs of violence.  Use of dental records, including photographs, radiographs, ante and post mortem report. Criminalistics: forensic science of analyzing and interpreting evidence using the natural sciences.  Analyze physical evidence generated by crime scenes.  Tend to specialize in one area of forensic analysis.  They use physical evidence to create a link between the suspect and the victim.  Serology: the analysis of body fluid evidence (bloodstains, semen, saliva, etc.)  Trace evidence: the analysis of hairs, fibers, paint, glass, wood, and soil that are present at a crime scene.  Helps to establish a relationship between a suspect and the victim.  Ballistics: determine the kind of bullet used and whether it was fired from the gun used to commit the crime.  Tool mark analysis: includes any object suspected of containing the impression of another object that served as a tool in the commission of a crime.  Impression evidence: the evaluation of impressions made by shoes, tires, depressions in soft soils, and all other forms of tracks and impressions.  Drug Identification and toxicology: the study of poisons and the identification of drugs. Forensic Engineers: investigate the specific sequence of events in a case and search for reasons why a specific item failed to work as expected; work with law enforcement in a variety of cases.  Fire investigations, traffic accidents, patent disputes, wrongful injury claims, etc. Forensic Psychiatrist: medical doctors specially trained in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of medical disorders who has additional training and/or experience related to the various interfaces to mental health (or mental illness) with the law. Forensic Psychologist: evaluate individuals to determine questions such as a competency to stand trial, relationship of a mental disorder to an accident or crime, and potential for future dangerous behavior.  Doctoral-level (i.e. Ph.D., Psy.D, or Ed.D.); psychologists do not go to medical school, but are professionals in their own right. Computer (Digital) Forensics: the use of analytical and investigative techniques to identify, collect, examine, and preserve evidence/information which is magnetically stored or encoded.  Combines elements of law and computer science so that they collect and analyze in a way that is admissible as evidence in a court of law. Entomology: the use of insects and their arthropod relatives that inhabit decomposing remains to aid legal investigations.  Most commonly employed in the estimation of the minimum post-mortem interval. Criminal Justice System and Forensic Science Evidence: anything that furnishes or tends to furnish proof; it can support or reject the theory of crime.  Must be relevant and reliable to be admitted into proceedings in a court of law  Relevance = the tendency of a given item of evidence to prove or disprove one of the legal elements of the case  Probative = tending to prove. Forensic Evidence: refers to the utilization of science and its results in respect to the defendant's association with the crime scene.  May be used to supply information about commission of a crime and suspects or innocent people associate with the crime.  Data can be accepted as evidence of material fact once it survives the screening function.  Locard Exchange Principle: whenever two objects come into contact, a mutual exchange of matter will take place between them; concerned with the linkage of persons, scenes, and objects.  Offered as circumstantial evidence if a material fact required for conviction. Trial Evidence: court-approved information that the trier of fact is allowed to consider when determining a defendant's guilt or innocence.  Trier of fact = a person, or group of persons, who determines facts in a legal proceeding, usually a trial.  Nonscientific generated information includes things like expert or eye witness testimonies.  Relies on --> prerequisite of solid supportive foundation for any offer of evidence; foundation consists of sufficiently supportive information presented to a judge that has potential to be true and aid a jury in a reasonable determination of whether it is indeed true.  Evidentiary rules (different for criminal and civil courts) are exclusionary in nature. Frye v. United States (1923)  The first application of the use of the polygraph machine.  The Court held that expert testimony must be based on scientific methods that are sufficiently established and accepted.  Polygraph could not be accepted because it was unknown and had not gained acceptance in its particular field; this became the Frye Standard. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993)  Mother claimed the medication she had been taking (Bendectin) when pregnant led to the birth defects present in both of her children.  The District Court granted the defendant summary judgement; the case was appealed and affirmed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based on the Federal Rules of Evidence (primarily FRE 702).  The Daubert decision affirmed the role of the judge as the gatekeeper in the admissibility of scientific evidence. It also introduced that in additional to evidence needed to be relevant and reliable, the following must also be asked:  Is the theory of technique invoked testable, and has it been tested?  Has it been published in a peer-reviewed forum?  What is the known or potential error rate for a technique? Direct Evidence: established without the need for further inference, e.g. eyewitness testimony of shooting. Demonstrative Evidence: evidence that isn't necessarily related to the crime, but is evidence that either explains other evidence or explains techniques.  Helpful for expert witnesses  Clarify specialized topics or techniques  Makes jurors feel as though the witness is not trying to "get past them" Class and Individual Characteristics of Evidence  Forensic evidence arrives in court in one of two basic forms:  Class characteristic: does not reference a particular suspect; have a high chance of belonging to another item or person.  Individual characteristic: do, inferentially, associate a particular individual with commission of a crime; the odds of the feature being repeated in the population is negligible. Four sub-crime scenes are found within one crime scene: i Physical scene left by perpetrator ii Crime scene material collected and transported by crime scene personnel iii Crime scene material tested by laboratory and results of such tests iv Crime scene information allowed into evidence by court


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