Legal Systems

Legal Systems

Fourth amendment right 0,32068,1027506447001_2080296,00.html 1 Legal Systems Forensic Science Copyright and Terms of Service Copyright Texas Education Agency, 2011. These materials are copyrighted and trademarked as the property of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of TEA, except under the following conditions: 1) Texas public school districts, charter schools, and Education Service Centers may reproduce and use copies of the Materials and Related Materials for the districts and schools educational

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Our Rights and Their Effect on Forensic Evidence Understanding the rights of United States citizens under the law (Bill of Rights) is vital when collecting, analyzing, and presenting evidence in the legal system 4 Evidence Collection The Fourth Amendment 4

th Right of Search and Seizure Regulated The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 5 Evidence Collection The Fourth Amendment (continued)

Unlawful Search and Seizure When the court says an individuals rights were violated, any evidence derived from the search and seizure will be kept out of the criminal case, if the case is against the person whose rights were violated It is very important that evidence is collected lawfully, without an invasion of privacy or with a search warrant, so it will not be ruled inadmissible in court 6 Evidence Collection The Fourth Amendment (continued) Searching Was There an Invasion of

Privacy? The court will ask two things (if either of these answers is no, then any evidence collected can be admissible in court) Did the owner of the home or property that was investigated or searched expect a degree of privacy? Was this expectation of privacy reasonable and legitimate? 7 Evidence Collection The Fourth Amendment (continued) Search Warrant a judicial order that authorizes the law enforcement agencies to conduct a search of a location/person and to

seize any evidence of a criminal offense. To issue a search warrant police have to show the judge that Probable cause exists that a crime has occurred Evidence or contraband linked to the crime will probably be found on a certain location on the property or person at issue 8 Evidence Collection The Fourth Amendment (continued) Search Warrant Not Needed Consent is given for the search (no warrant is needed, even in the future, once consent is given) Emergency someone is in danger, or there might be

destruction of evidence After an arrest an officer can search the person and immediate surroundings Plain view if the police are there legally and evidence is in plain view Reasonable suspicion if police believe they will find a weapon or drugs on a person or in a car, they can legally search 9 5 amendment right th 0,32068,1027130599001_2080298,00.html

10 Regulations for the Prosecution Fifth Amendment 5 th No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on an indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be

subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. 11 Regulations for the Prosecution Fifth Amendment (continued) Difficult/Publicized/Capitol Cases In many states, a grand jury (16 24 citizens) meets to decide if there is enough evidence before a citizen can even be indicted for a crime The grand jury is an arm of the prosecutor office,

the defense does not even present at a grand jury Plea Bargaining up to 90% of all cases are plea bargained and never go to trial (Deslich, 2006) 12 Regulations for the Prosecution Fifth Amendment (continued) Double Jeopardy A person cannot be put on trial again for the same crime It is imperative that every bit of evidence be found in the case before it is brought to trial

Due Process everyone is treated the same, gets trial by jury 13 Regulations for the Prosecution Fifth Amendment (continued) Pleading the 5th You do not have to be at witness against yourself The prosecution has to prove your guilt You have the right to remain silent 14 6 amendment

th 0,32068,1026381361001_2080300,00.html 15 Trial Policies Sixth Amendment 6 th In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall

enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. 16 Trial Policies Sixth Amendment (continued) Speedy Trial Depends on state statute, but generally 90 120 days

The following slow the process: The defendant is out on bail Motions Illness Lack of attorney(s) The defendant can ask for a speedier trial; for law enforcement this is mixed news Speedy trial rules make it imperative to find all of the evidence as soon as possible

Delays might be beneficial to law enforcement because they lengthen the evidence collection and analysis time period 17 Trial Policies Sixth Amendment (continued) Witnesses any witness for the defense or the prosecution can be subpoenaed to appear in court Informed of Charge Once arrested, a defendant has 72 hours to be arraigned, told what he is charged with, and offer his plea The more evidence collected before the arrest, the more specific the arraignment will be. (It also

informs bail amount.) 18 Trial Policies Sixth Amendment (continued) Defense Council A defendant has the right to an attorney If they cant afford one, the court must provide one A defense attorney must know every bit of the prosecutors evidence in the case to prepare The defense attorneys job is to get the defendant freedany and all evidence and evidence procedures can be questioned; this includes collection, handling, delivery, analysis, testimony, and documentation

19 7 amendment th 0,32068,1027561275001_2080301,00.html 20 Trial Policies Seventh Amendment 7

th In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. 21 Trial Policies Seventh Amendment (continued) Civil vs. criminal matters

Impartial Trial by Jury Jury of the individuals peers is the standard United States Court all courts used for trials should be controlled by the United States government; furthermore, all verdicts handed down by these courts are final (unless appealed to a higher court) 22 (stop) The Evidence in Court How evidence is received in a court of law is

extremely important to a crime scene professional Because of the Constitutions view of innocent until proven guilty and the rights of the accused, it is crucial that those in law enforcement understand the types of evidence, how it is perceived in court, how to testify to its significance, and the importance of proper evidence collection and handling 24 Power of the Evidence in Court Probative Value Higher value if the evidence can prove

something in court The lower the probability of an event, the higher the probative value Probability the frequency of the occurrence of an event Defines the odds that a certain event will occur (or the matching of a certain pieces of evidence) Normally found by multiplying the odds 25 Types of Evidence in Court Direct Evidence evidence that establishes a fact

Eyewitness testimony or victims testimony Confessions Audio or visual recording of the act or crime 26 Types of Evidence in Court Indirect Evidence Circumstantial evidence Requires that a judge and/or jury make inferences about what transpired at the scene of a crime Physical evidence is nearly always circumstantial, so evidence analyzed forensically is mostly indirect

evidence Inference example: fingerprints or hairs found at the scene are consistent with that of a perpetrator; jurors may infer that the print or hair belongs to the defendant, linking him to the scene. 27 Influence of Direct vs. Indirect Evidence Indirect circumstantial evidence is more objective, while direct evidence is subjective In general, direct evidence is not considered to be as reliable as circumstantial evidence Eyewitnesses can be deficient when identifying

perpetrators or remembering certain events Flawed questioning techniques can lead to erroneous testimony and confessions The age of the eyewitness and the passing of time since the event can also lead to faulty testimony Direct does NOT mean better! 28 Influence of Direct vs. Indirect Evidence (continued) Court research comparing the impact of the type of evidence differs in its results Some research says direct (eyewitness) evidence has a stronger impact on the jury

At other times, physical evidence was considered more valid by jurors Some studies suggest that having both types of evidence is no more compelling than having strong evidence of only one type 29 Influence of Direct vs. Indirect Evidence (continued) The forensic scientist should Always be aware of the persuasive nature of eyewitness testimony In no way allow that to interfere with the scientific method when analyzing physical evidence or developing a hypothesis when investigating a crime

The direct evidence of a police officers testimony (concerning the source of evidence, documentation, and chain of custody) corroborates and strengthens the probative value of physical evidence Be unbiased! 30 Categories of Physical Evidence Individual Evidence can be linked to a unique, specific source (individual) with a very high degree of probability Examples Matching ridge characteristics of fingerprints

Matching striations of two different bullets from the same gun The irregular edges of a broken object (paper, glass, etc.) that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle (this type of evidence is not found very often) DNA 31 Categories of Physical Evidence (continued) Class Evidence evidence that can only be associated with a group and never a single source Examples: a paint chip, blood of a certain ABO

type The way to increase the probative value of class evidence is to find as many different types of class evidence as possible to link the suspect to the crime Multiple pieces of class evidence can be convincing 32 Individual vs. Class Evidence Activity Evidence Admissibility In a Court of Law Not only will the court compare the Bill of Rights to how evidence was collected, but

there are court precedents that determine the admissibility of scientific results and how those results are explained in court Frye v. United States, 1923 The Frye Standard: the questioned scientific procedure or principles must be generally accepted by a majority of the scientific community 34 Evidence Admissibility In a Court of Law (continued) Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 1993 Verdict replaced the Frye Standard Areas of inquiry by the judge acting as the gatekeeper

Can the scientific technique or theory be tested? Has the technique or theory been subjected to peer review? What is the techniques potential rate of error? Are there standards to control the techniques operation, and are these maintained? Has the technique or theory attracted widespread acceptance within scientific community? 35 Federal Rules of

Evidence Expert Testimony Expert Testimony hearsay from a witness is normally not allowed in court, except in the case of an expert witness Expert Witness a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education (Deslich, 2006) may offer expert testimony on a scientific matter if The testimony is based upon sufficient facts The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods The witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case 36 Court Significance of Procedures in Evidence

Collection and Analysis Every step of the process for collecting, handling, analyzing, transporting, and storing evidence is scrutinized in a court of law. So there are guidelines that must be followed for forensic evidence and its results to be admissible in court A systemic search for all evidence must be conducted All evidence must be collected, including large items and trace evidence that must be vacuumed Must maintain Chain of Custody 37 Court Significance of Procedures in Evidence Collection and Analysis (continued)

Comparison-type evidence should be collected when possible Reference Samples should be collected for comparison Examples Paint chip from a hit-and-run suspect Blood and hair samples from the victim, suspects, all family members (and pets), and crime scene investigators These reference samples are then available for comparison, elimination, and matching to those unknown specimens collected at the crime scene 38 Court Significance of Procedures in Evidence Collection and Analysis

(continued) Proper packaging and separation of evidence is crucial Cross-contamination (or contact) with other persons or evidence is to be avoided at all cost Proper tools for collection and storage should always be used (envelopes, vials, bags, etc.) Always follow strict packaging guidelines for all evidence, and never package any two pieces of evidence together Decontamination of personnel between crime scenes is important 39

Court Significance of Procedures in Evidence Collection and Analysis (continued) Chain of Custody the witnessed, written record of all individuals who had the evidence in their possession from the crime scene to the courtroom; and when, where, and for what purpose this transfer of evidence occurred The item of evidence itself should be identified; the location, time, and person collecting should also be recorded The evidence container should also be marked for identification, showing the collectors initials, the location of evidence, and the date it was received by the collector If the evidence is turned over to another individual for any reason (care or delivery), this transfer must be recorded in the notes

and/or forms 40 Court Significance of Procedures in Evidence Collection and Analysis (continued) Chain of Custody (continued) Any samples of the evidence taken for testing or any changes in the evidence should be documented immediately Every individual who possesses the evidence must maintain a written record of its acquisition/disposition and may be called to testify in court; this includes individuals from the collection,

to delivery, to the laboratory analysis, and then into the courtroom with the prosecuting attorney 41 Court Significance of Procedures in Evidence Collection and Analysis (continued) Chain of Custody (continued) To avoid confusion, the number of individuals involved in the chain of custody, should be kept to a minimum The chain of custody record is often kept as a form on the container or envelope of the evidence Failure to substantiate the evidences chain of

custody may lead to serious questions regarding the authenticity and integrity of the evidence 42 Resources Saferstein, Richard. Forensic Science: An Introduction. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. Bertino, Anthony J. Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Deslich, Barbara; Funkhouse, John. Forensic Science for High School

Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2006. "Simpson Case Has Errors, Coroner Says." New York Times 21 July 1994, A19 sec. New York Times. New York Times Company. Web. 31 July 2009. tml Jones, Thomas. Analysis of the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial. 2008. TruTV. July 31, 2009. _1.html

Linder, Douglas. Famous American Trials: The O.J. Simpson Trial. 2006. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. 31 July 2009. 43 Resources (continued)

The State of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson [ transcript of testimony of William Bodziak]. 19 June 1995. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. 31 July 2009. The State of California vs. Orenthal James Simpson [transcript of testimony of Henry Lee]. 19 June 1995. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. 31 July 2009. Thompson, William. Proving the Case: The Science of DNA Evidence: DNA Evidence in the OJ Simpson Trial. 30 December 2008. Ramapo College of New Jersey. 31 July 2009, 44

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