Forensic Investigations - Deepstash

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Forensic Investigator

The terms forensic investigator and forensic investigation are part of our cultural identity. They can be found in the news, on television, and in film. They are invoked, generally, to imply that highly trained personnel will be collecting some form of physical evidence with eventual scientific results that cannot be questioned or bar-gained with. In other words, they are invoked to imply the reliability, certainty, and authority of a scientific inquiry.

This can be a good thing, the authors would agree, when there are well-educated and properly trained professionals involved in the process.

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Problems

There are some problems, however. First, not everyone knows what these terms actually mean, so their use can be inappropriate or even misleading. This means there are those in the justice system using these terms to create a false impression about what has or will be done with the evidence.

Second, not everyone involved in the justice systems wants the facts or evidence on the record. As one gains experience with criminal investigation and the courts, one learns there are those who would prefer certain evidence not be documented, examined, or made public.

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Our Belief

Motives vary, including apathy, incompetence, politics, and fear of consequences (e.g., jail time, civil liability, or both).

These concerns have been ever present motivators in the authors’ casework and teachings. They have also served to drive the completion of this project. Our belief is simple: as more people understand what a forensic investigation is, and what it requires, there will be fewer capable of abusing or ignoring the evidence that it puts on the record. We understand that this will take some explaining.

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The Purpose

And those readers who do not yet fully understand the landscape of what we have experienced in the justice system are about to.

The purpose of this textbook is to help students and professionals rid themselves of the myths and misconceptions they have accumulated regarding forensic investigators, and the subsequent forensic investigations they help to conduct. This text will help the reader understand the role of the forensic investigator; the nature and variety of forensic investigations that take place in the justice system;

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The Goals

and the mechanisms by which such investigations become worthy as evidence in court. The goals are no more lofty than that. However, they could not be more necessary to our understanding of what justice is, how it is most reliably achieved, and how it can be corrupted by those who are burdened with apathy and alternative motives.

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