BY KAT SANDERS*
It’s easier to solve crime today than it was 50 years ago, because of the advances that have been made in the field of science, or to be more specific, forensic science. In fact, new and innovative crime solving techniques are being introduced by the day to help law enforcement officers solve cases that are baffling at first. If we took a long and hard look at the role that forensics play in the fields of criminal law and justice, we would see how important it is in solving crime because:
It helps establish the nature of the crime: There are some crimes that are accidents and others that are by design. Looking at the evidence through a forensic microscope allows cops and others in the law enforcement area to determine if the crime was a murder, suicide or other form of accidental death. In the case of a murder, forensic evidence tells them if the crime was accidental or carried out in cold blood. Forensic science is also used to investigate and solve burglaries, drug offenses, arsons and automobile accidents.
It helps remove personal prejudices: Forensic science forces law enforcement officers to look only at the evidence and not follow cases on their instincts or feelings. It thus provides a quantifiable way to solve crime, one that can be used to provide cold, hard evidence that is more acceptable in courts and to juries in convicting the guilty or acquitting the innocent.
It brings to light evidence that is not visible to the naked eye: Forensic science uses a number of techniques to help discover evidence that is not immediately visible. So even in cases where there seems to be no evidence at all, a minute fingernail or a strand of hair can help nail the criminal. The methods and techniques used are detailed and accurate, and if done carefully and correctly, can help recreate the crime in laboratory settings and solve the crime.
And last and most important of all, it helps solve the crime: Using details such as the time of death and other physical evidence, forensic science can prove conclusively if a person is guilty of the crime or innocent as they claim. If used wisely and correctly, forensic science can help convict the guilty and acquit the innocent, both of which are equally important when someone is being prosecuted for a crime. Forensic science is thus a great comfort to those who have been affected by the crime and a valuable tool for the criminal law and justice departments in fighting crime and bringing it to book.
*This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of forensic science technician schools at her blog Forensic Scientist Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you who would like more information on forensic science, we invite you to see L Fabry’s compilation of the top 50 forensic science blogs, sites, and resources posted on the Forensic Scientist Blog.