Forensic science, its applications and different ways in solving a case

Forensic science is a scientific method to investigate crimes or examine evidence.Read more to know how it is helpful in solving a case.

Posted by Rukhma Khalid on October 4, 2022

Forensic science is the application of science and scientific methods in the criminal justice system or the department of justice. It's the study of evidence, which helps investigators catch the culprits responsible. The presence of pictures also helps investigators catch the culprits. Forensic science comprises the collection of any physical characteristics or chemical composition of forensic interest at the crime scene.

Some basic ideas in forensic science:

A forensic scientist is never able to tackle all the subjects that are for laboratory investigation. This is the subject of specialization that one person who specializes in one area of forensic science does not work in the other areas. In some cases, a forensic scientist may be a specialist in more than one area of forensic science. We can divide forensic science into two areas:

1. Forensic medicine

These medicine are concerned with the body, whether it is living or dead. So, Examining the body and predicting how the injuries have happened to the body is the job of a specialist in the field of forensic medicine. Anyone can get into forensic medicine by qualifying as a medical doctor and then can specialize further.

2. Forensic science

Forensic science deals with everything except a body. Like DNA, fingerprinting, documents, drugs, physical evidence, and chemical composition

Interpretation of the evidence:

This science is the other name of philosophy of all sciences. However, it is based on scientific evidence, we investigate our findings and report them in court.

You must be confident about your theory which is based on your observations along with strong proof and witnesses and you must convince the judge and jury about the authenticity of your theory. Following are points that you must consider carefully while working on your thesis because if your theory is wrong you are sending an innocent person to jail or even death. This is true because this has happened before and may happen again. So, the points are:

  1. Reliability of evidence
  2. What is deduced
  3. What is not deduced

A legal procedure in a case:

There are three points of the legal system which we will discuss here:

i. Evidence

It was presented in court. This evidence can come from forensic experts, witnesses, or police.

ii. Prosecution vs Defense

A prosecution is an organization or lawyer working on legal proceedings against someone under a criminal charge. So, a defense is a lawyer who represents an accused person or party in legal matters. Some of the evidence presented by the prosecution against the defense. They both can challenge each other’s evidence.

iii. Verdict

Judges and juries take decisions on the guilt of a person. So, the decision is based on the evidence presented in court by the prosecution and defense

Presumptions of innocence

i. When a person has been charged with a crime. In other words, the default setting in any country is this "we assume you are innocent or maybe not, I don't know, you are guilty. Trial is coming soon".

ii. This is the job of the prosecution to prove that defendant is guilty of a crime.

iii. Defense does not have to present evidence to prove innocence; because they simply have to challenge the prosecution’s evidence by putting reasonable doubts.

What are the applications of forensic science?

Sometimes it is very difficult to convince the judge and jury about the validity of evidence particularly because the judge and jury don’t have any scientific training. There is a case study:.

Case study:

This is the case from 1939 from the town of Bournemouth in England which had difficulty conveying scientific evidence in court. A 64-year-old very rich man was found unconscious in his house. However, He was attacked and his skull was crushed. He died without regaining consciousness and the difficulty was that the only witness to the crime was the victim and he is dead. So, the only reliability was the forensic evidence.

They searched the crime scene and found a motive. In addition, they found that the victim’s valuables from the safe and pocket were missing. In other words, It looked like a robbery. The second thing found was a crumpled-up paper bag which the murderer had used to hold the weapon in order not to leave any fingerprint. Cigarette butts were on the floor. So, The scenario is that the victim and the murderer were having a conversation and smoking cigarettes, the conversation lead to an argument and a fight which led to murder.

There were inquiries by the police, and they suspected a person named Joseph Williams. Police found that William was not a man with money but now he became rich overnight. It was suspected, that the money William must be the victims’ money.

Second case study:

In 1939 discovery was made. And it tells that you can determine the blood group of a person from saliva. Police had cigarette butts from the crime scene, so they were able to extract silver and examine the blood group and it turned out to be the AB blood group which is a rare group among the population. They also cross-checked with William’s blood group. And it is matched. Now the defense counsel was a very clever man and he put contempt on the idea that determining the blood group from saliva because blood is blood and saliva is not blood. The jury did not believe the forensic evidence. William set free.

Now we know that William was guilty. He was about to be freed. He went drunk to party. After that, he released the story came out.

Limitations of Forensic Science:

Other applications of forensic science include law and criminal justice

i. Actus Reus (guilty action)

Actus reus tells how a criminal has committed a crime that is truly related to the criminal’s mental health. Moreover, It creates a criminal profile. A criminal profile tells how a criminal likes to commit a crime.

ii. Mens Rea (guilty mind)

Men's rea is the intention of a person to commit a crime. Forensic science cannot do anything to determine the intention of the person to commit a crime because that is only inside that person’s mind until the person himself tells.