Careers in Forensic Science

Download 88.89 Kb.
Date conversion24.12.2017
Size88.89 Kb.
Careers in Forensic Science

Forensic Science is: Also known as __________________________________________________________

The application _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Possible Careers

Forensic Scientists


Crime Scene Investigators


Medical Examiners


Common Duties in Forensics

Data collection

Data ____________________________________________

Data interpretation


Specialized Duties

Forensic Scientists – identify and/or compare physical evidence through chemical, physical, and instrumental analysis

Criminologists – __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Crime Scene Investigators – collect and preserve physical evidence from crime scenes

Specialized Duties

Medical Examiners – perform autopsies to identify the causes and manners of death

Coroners – typically transport corpses from the crime scene to the morgue; some aid in death investigations

Prosecutors – initiate arrests, indictments and prosecution of criminals

What is the main difference between Medical Examiners and Coroners?


Disciplines – Within Forensic Science

Trace Evidence (hair, fiber, paint, glass, impressions, etc.)

Latent Prints (____________________________________________)

Forensic Biology (Serology/DNA)

Toxicology (_______________________________________________)

Controlled substance (drugs)

Questioned documents (handwriting & typescripts)

Firearms (_________________________________________________)


Other Disciplines

Crime Scene Investigation

Forensic ___________________________________________________

Forensic Anthropology

Forensic Computer Science

Forensic __________________________________________________

Forensic Entomology

Forensic _________________________________________________

Forensic Psychology & Psychiatry

Explain what each discipline is responsible for.

Employment Opportunities

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Federal, State, and Local Crime Laboratories

Drug Enforcement ____________________________________ (DEA)

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)

U.S. Postal Service (USPS)


Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services


Employment Qualifications

Forensic Scientists – _________________________________________________________________________ or higher in natural or physical science

Criminologists – BS or higher in sociology or psychology

___________________________________________________________ – law enforcement officers with a certification, such as one from the International Association for Identification (IAI)

Medical Examiners (ME) – ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Coroners – equivalent to MEs in some jurisdictions; some are elected county officials who handle corpse and death investigation

Prosecutors – Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) in criminal law


College education


In-house training provided by the employing agency

External training sponsored by federal and state agencies such as:

FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA

Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS)

Workshops provided by various associations during meetings


American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)

American Board of Criminalistics (ABC)

Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE)

More available on the AAFS website:

Certifications & Accreditations

American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors –Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB)

Accredits crime laboratories

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Certifies crime laboratories (ISO 17025)

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

Certifies testing materials used in analysis

American Board of Criminalistics (ABC)

Certifies individual forensic scientists

Forensic Science: Ethical Standards in Forensic Science

Forensic Science in the Legal System

Forensic science = legal _______________________ and legal _______________________________

Significant elements in resolving civil and criminal matters
Link or exonerate (_________________________________________) suspects

Forensic Science: in the Legal System (continued)

Any distinction between civil and criminal is artificial

Principles and procedures of the forensic science investigation are the same for both

Physical evidence:




Balance of Legal & Ethical Responsibilities

Science = natural phenomena

Law = _____________________________________ rules & regulations

Be familiar with the law


Legal Responsibilities of Forensic Science

Follow procedures

Obey the rules of evidence

Maintain _____________________________________________________, why? _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stay within the ____________________________________________________________________ boundaries

Character of Forensic Scientists

Unprejudiced and impartial


Have sufficient education and training

Main Functions of Forensic Science

Analyze – unearth factual information, regardless which side the evidence supports

_____________________________________ – evaluate findings, arriving at opinions and conclusions

Report – _______________________________________________________________________________________

Establishing a Professional Standard

An important issue for forensic science

Assessment is needed to standardize the collection, examination, and analysis of physical evidence

Ethical Guidelines for Analyzing Physical Evidence


Interpret and/or evaluate findings


Use valid, reliable standards of comparison

Use _______________________________, _____________________________________ equipment



Ethical Guidelines for Interpreting Physical Evidence

Don’t confuse scientific ____________________ with _________________________________________

Qualify and explain opinions and conclusions appropriately

Don’t state conclusions and opinions _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Give proper weight and certainty to opinions and conclusions

Ethical Guidelines for Reporting Physical Evidence

Personal interest or gain should not be _________________________________ a report or testimony

Never claim results and/or accomplishments not your own

Limit testimony to conclusions drawn from examinations and analyses

Avoid _________________________________________________________ and terms easily misconstrued

Ethical Guidelines for Professional Courtesy

Re-examining evidence is permissible

Resolve differences of opinion before the case goes to trial

Advising attorneys about the testimony of another forensic scientist is permissible if in good faith, not malicious, and to prevent incompetent testimony

Ethical Guidelines for Reporting Physical Evidence (continued)

Use accepted standards for photographs, posters, or background information

Do not distort or use unduly sensational material

“Attorney-client” relationship applies, unless it leads to a miscarriage of justice


Ethical Guidelines for Professional Courtesy (continued)

Inform colleagues about _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Report invalid or unreliable methodology

___________________________________________________________________________________ of colleagues unless you can prove them as false or inaccurate

Do not misrepresent or distort the statements, results, reports, testimony, or work of colleagues.

History of Forensic Science

Before 17th century - Confrontation by the accuser

Confession under _______________________________ - Guilty

Strength to resist the pain - ____________________________________________

Criminalistics – also refers to _________________________________________ forensics (evidence found at crime scene to suspect) such as fingerprints or blood

Carl Wilhelm Scheele


Swedish Chemist

Devised the test for detecting the poison ___________________________________ in corpses

Alphonse Bertillon

French ________________________________________

Introduced the Bertillon system (aka Anthropometry) in 1879

Used various _________________________________ of the body to __________________________ people by their physical appearance

Replaced by ______________________________________________________ after the Will West case in _______________________________

The __________________________________ first used fingerprints, to identify ownership of objects

Henry Faulds, Frances Galton and Sir Edward Henry developed the use of fingerprints

Valentin Ross

German Chemist


Discovered a more ___________________________ method for detecting ___________________________ of Arsenic

Mathieu Orfilla




Published the first scientific treatise on the detection of poisons


The Invention of the __________________________________________________________________________

1839 - First microscopic detection of sperm

James Marsh

Scottish Chemist


____________________________________________________________________________ on the detection of Arsenic in a victim’s body


The first presumptive test for blood

What is a presumptive blood test? _________________________________________________________________________________________________

1850’s – 1860’s – Development in photography and Improved records in forensic science

Therefore as picture technology got better so did record keeping.

Hans Gross

Austrian prosecutor and judge


Published Criminal Investigation

Discussed the benefits of __________________________ (microscopy, chemistry, physics, zoology, botany, geology and fingerprinting) in ________________________________________________________

Karl Landsteiner


Discovered ___________________________________________________

Albert Osborn


Published Questioned Documents

Paul Kirk

Paul Kirk, known as the father of __________________________________________ in the U.S., first used this term

Paul Kirk, University of California, established first university forensic program in 1937

Edmond Locard


French doctor/criminologist

Locard’s Exchange Principle

Opened the very ____________________________________________________________________ in France

Principle of Exchange

Established by Dr. Edmond Locard, the principle states:


Study of the material can determine the nature and duration of the transfer

_______________________________________ – any small piece of evidence that may be found on clothing, car, or home, or on the soles of someone’s shoe

Why is this so important to forensic science? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please use the following space to explain Locard’s Exchange Principle in your own words.


Walter McCrone


American chemist


Examined The Shroud of Turin and the Vinland map

The History of Blood and Body Fluids

1983- Kary Mullis developed _______________________________________________________________, which is the basis for all DNA typing in forensic cases today

_________ Sir Alec Jeffries used DNA fingerprinting to solve a double murder case in England

History of Crime Labs in the United States

1923 - Los Angeles PD Crime Lab (the _________________________________________________ in US)

August Vollmer, LAPD Chief, established the first crime lab in the United States

1930’s – University of CA at Berkeley Dept. of ________________________________________________ headed by __________________________

1932 –FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover opens the ______________________ Laboratory

1981 –FBI opens Forensic Science Research and Training Center

Federal Crime Laboratories

FBI Laboratory (Quantico, VA)

Drug Enforcement _______________________________________________________ (DEA) Laboratories

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (_________________) Laboratories

U.S. Army Crime Investigation Laboratory (Fort Gillem, GA)

U.S. Postal Inspection Service Laboratories (why does the postal service have their own laboratories?) __________________________________________________________________________________

Crime Labs Abroad

The ______________________ Home Office

Metropolitan Police Laboratory (London)

5 other regional labs


Royal Canadian Mounted Police (________________________________________) Laboratories

Centre of Forensic Sciences (Toronto)

The Institute of ________________________________ Medicine and Police _________________________ (Montreal)

Role of Forensic Pathologists and Anthropologists

Definition: Pathologist vs. Forensic Pathologist


A ____________________ who examines and analyzes tissue samples to identify irregularities and __________________________

Forensic Pathologist

A specialist who determines the ________________________________________________________ of the deceased

Forensic Pathologist: History

The Middle Ages

Autopsies were performed to establish _______________________________________________________ in humans

Well documented

Studied to help doctors discover more about human anatomy

The mid-1800’s

Rudolf Virchow

German physician

Known as the _______________________________________________________________________________

Explained how ___________________ arose in the individual cells and its effects on tissues and organ systems

Forensic Pathologist: History (continued)


G.S.W. de Saram

Published detailed measurements of body temperature decrease in executed prisoners


Forensic Pathologist: Primary Role

_________________________________________________________________________________________________ with unexpected, sudden, or violent deaths

Determine cause, mechanism, and manner of death

Cause of Death (COD)

Is the underlying disease, injury, abnormality, or poisoning that results in a person’s dying

Examples of COD

Gunshot wound


Heart attack

Arsenic poisoning

If COD cannot be determined by _____________________________________________________________ is performed

Autopsy: a medical external and internal examination of a body to determine COD

Mechanism of Death



A gunshot wound to the chest is the COD, but the mechanism of death is exsanguination (bleeding to death)

Drug overdose is the COD, but the mechanism of death could be heart failure

Manner of Death

There are ____________________________________________ into which the manner of death can fall






Forensic Pathologist: Other Responsibilities

Perform Autopsies

Collect evidence on the body (hair, blood, fibers, etc.)


Assist with the ID of the deceased

Establish time and date of death


Act as an ________________________________________________________ in court

Forensic Pathologist: Career Information

Usually holds other titles like medical examiner, coroner, or medico-legal death investigator

People who hold these titles are usually appointed to the position of forensic pathologist

Medico-legal – _________________________________________________________________________________

However, people who hold these titles do not necessarily have to be forensic pathologists

Forensic Pathologist: Career Information (continued)


High School diploma/equivalent


major doesn’t matter,

must complete pre-requisites for medical school

Attend medical school and obtain a MD or DO degree


Certifications and Licenses

Must have a license to practice medicine


Pass the exam given by the American Board of Pathology

Forensic Pathologist: Career Information (continued)

Other requirements

Have a ____________________________________________________

Work well under pressure

Be able to accept that they hold a ______________________________________________________________

Communicate well with others

Be able to keep calm and patient


Forensic Pathologist: Career Information (continued)

Where they work:

State governments

City or county governments



The federal government

Private groups or practices


Salary and Benefits

$151,000-$308,000 annually (in 2012)

Paid vacation

Health, disability, and life insurance

Retirement or pension plans

Work a 40-hour week, but are called in if there is a death emergency

Forensic Pathologist: Career Information (continued)

Outlook for the career choice


Population increasing means more deaths that need analyzing by forensic pathologists

Definition: Anthropologist vs. Forensic Anthropologist


Has at least a master’s degree


Studies humans’ physical, social, and language development, and the cultures they establish

Forensic Anthropologist


Forensic Anthropologist: History


Published an essay that uses parts of skeletal remains that can establish age, sex, or height


W.M. Krogman

Published the book The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine

Although the term forensic anthropology is not used in the textbook it is used as a guide for many years

Forensic Anthropologist: History (continued)


Thomas Mocker and T. Dale Stewart


Formed the basis of forensic anthropology


___________________________________________ starts the first “Body Farm” at the University of Tennessee

Forensic Anthropologist: Primary Role

To identify someone from skeletal, decomposed, or charred remains

Forensic Anthropologist: Primary Role (continued)

Skeletal remains can tell a forensic anthropologist a _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Human or animal






Forensic Anthropologist: Other Responsibilities


May perform facial reconstruction to recreate a person’s face

Help search areas for remains and recover them

Act as an expert witness in court


Plane Crashes

Natural Disasters

Terrorist Attacks

Forensic Anthropologist: Career Information


After receiving a high school diploma

Obtain a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, anatomy, or osteology


Forensic Anthropologist: Career Information


Complete graduate work in anthropology or forensic anthropology

It is important to pick a _____________________________________________________ where you would like to work

Because most graduates in this field of study receive their first job at their university

Complete a doctorate (optional)

Needed to join the faculty at a college or university

Most places may hire people with a master’s degree on a temporary basis, but they usually need to be working on their doctorate

Forensic Anthropologist: Career Information

Certificates and Licenses

Complete certification through the American Board of Forensic Anthropology

Have a Ph.D.


Pass a practical exam and a written exam

Forensic Anthropologist: Career Information (continued)

Other requirements

Work well with a team


Communicate well with others

Have good writing skills

Be able to train and teach others

Forensic Anthropologist: Career Information (continued)

Where they work

Colleges or universities

Most work here and are brought in for cases

Research institutions




Salary and Benefits

Hard to find actual salary information for forensic anthropologist s

Regular anthropologists make between $32,000 and $117,000 (in 2012)

Earn $100 – 200 an hour as consultants

Vacation and sick time

Health and life insurance

Pension or 401K plans

Forensic Anthropologist: Career Information (continued)

Outlook for career

Growing _________________________________________________________________________ than average

Because the forensic anthropology field is so small and the turnover is low

The number of applicants is larger than the number of positions available


These careers overlap since ____________________________________________________________________ is a continuous process

Pathologists are helpful when mummified tissues exist


Both work to determine the time since death, look for any evidence on deceased, and collect the evidence

Working Together

They will work together on cases with the investigators assigned

Both are a part of the medico-legal system if needed

Medico-legal systems are required for any of the following cases:


____________________________________, not in a doctor’s care, of __________________________________

Deaths in prison or other state-run institutions

Deaths of children that are less than 1 year old

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page