Crime has become a worrying and deplorable, yet constant occurrence and trend in the society. Law enforcers are tasked with the responsibility of keeping the citizens free from harm by swinging into action and taking the criminal elements out of the equation. The task is daunting, and quite understandably, the war against crime has been a tiresomely slow one. However, recent scientific advancements are significant for having turned around the war against crime, and the rate of clearance of cases due to presentation of sufficient and reliable evidence has witnessed a tremendous and phenomenal improvement. This essay highlights on some of the fundamental principles of criminalistics and how the application of these principles in combating crime has been an overnight revelation producing an instant and unsurprising impact on the court and justice system.
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Criminalistics involve the application of scientific knowledge and technology in shedding more light on various crime scenes and situations in a bid to get accurate information. The conclusions drawn from such forensic investigations go a long way in helping build a strong case in court to ensure that ultimately, serving justice. It is highly sensitive and requires utmost precision, accuracy and consistency if the investigations are to yield any fruit. It is crucial to collect physical evidence properly and sequentially. Proper interpretation is essential too if the results of the investigation are to be trusted. Fundamental scientific concepts are applied, in the examination and analysis of the physical evidence, to give a more convincing, yet truthful account of the situation. Most of the analyses and experiments, done in laboratories and give, more involving approach by the investigators as they attempt to of the crime scene and the actual crime.
Over time, the scientific advancement in terms of knowledge and technology has proved immensely crucial in solving crimes. Nevertheless, there are legal and ethical issues governing the use and reliability of particular forensic methods in solving crime. The revolution in forensic science has seen the use of mathematical equations in helping shed light in crime investigations. With the emergence of intelligent criminals who have discovered ways of throwing investigators out of track by staging crime scenes, it has become increasingly important to use all available means and measures to bring these crooks to book. Crime scene analysis has also improved with investigators resorting to cordoning off the crime scene using tapes in an effort to guard against loss of crucial evidence.
One of the timeliest advancements was the application of DNA concepts in fighting crime. DNA (abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid) is present in all body tissues and fluids. Simple body tissues such as blood, skin, saliva and even strands of hair have become the latest objects of search in crime scenes as forensic investigators look to find credible evidence in identifying suspects and victims of various crimes. It is a highly reliable source of evidence as no two people share the same DNA; it is unique to each individual, up to and including Siamese twins. The evidence collected goes to the forensic investigators in laboratories, who, with the help of advanced and sophisticated equipment, are able to pinpoint the person whose DNA is under investigation. The use of DNA has become increasingly important, as its manipulation is difficult unlike other types of evidence.
Other milestones in criminalistics include the profound increase in knowledge on crime scene analysis and management, suspect’s behavioral evidence analysis, crime scene reconstruction, criminal profiling among others. The crime scene, in most cases, has a lot to tell about the victim and the criminal. If thoroughly combed, it rarely fails to yield evidence or at least a clue or two. Armed with this knowledge, forensic scientists have become increasingly aware of the make it or break it situation they are in with regard to the crime scene. This has paved way for better crime scene management. Use of protective clothing and gloves, initially handled with undeserving casualness, has been replaced with a more professional approach and protective clothing and gloves are useful crime scene management that cannot be left to chance.
The drive to collect evidence has improved a notch higher and no longer involves simply conducting investigations at the crime scene and stopping at that. With already acquired knowledge on criminal psychology, investigators use this mental approach in judging the actions and behaviors of suspects. This gives them a chance to observe, albeit subjective, that in the end in most occasions proves to be a success. Criminal profiling goes hand in hand with this psychological skill since from the interaction with the criminal and background psychological knowledge the investigators are able to draw objective conclusions. Crime scene reconstruction has been yet another milestone. With this skill, investigators are able to reproduce near-accurate accounts of the actual crime scene as it occurred. This, too, is of Great importance is getting evidence and eventually solving the crime.
The progress made so far in forensics is attributable to scientific development especially on human psychology, DNA and the ever-increasing need to develop more sophisticated, scientific equipment to keep up with the evolving crime and criminal activities. These developments, due to their tested and proven records can help improve the situation at the court level as the reliability of some of the methods and use of DNA for instance are unquestionable. Adopting and employing further use of these methods can immensely improve the efficiency of the justice system and provide an opportunity for serving justice and for criminal activities to take a downward trend.
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