Forensic Science in Court: The Role of the Expert Witness is a practical handbook aimed at forensic science students, to help them prepare as an expert witness when presenting their evidence in court. Written in a clear, accessible manner, the book guides the student through the legal process and shows them how to handle evidence, write reports without ambiguity through to the more practical aspects of what to do when appearing in court. The book also offers advice on what to expect when working with lawyers in a courtroom situation. An essential text for all students taking forensic science courses who are required to take modules on how to present their evidence in court. The book is also an invaluable reference for any scientist requested to give an opinion in a legal context. · Integrates law and science in an easy to understand format · Inclusion of case studies throughout · Includes straightforward statistics essential for the forensic science student · An invaluable, practical textbook for anyone appearing as an expert witness in court · Unique in its approach aimed at forensic science students in a courtroom environment
Forensic Science in Court explores the legal implications of forensic science—an increasingly important and complex part of the legal system. Judge Donald Shelton provides an accessible overview of the legal issues, then examines the strengths and limitations of various kinds of forensic science, including DNA, fingerprints, handwriting, hair, bite marks, tool marks, firearms and bullets, fire and arson investigation, and bloodstain evidence. Case studies illustrate the issues and their application in depth.
Forensic science has been variously described as fascinating, challenging and even frightening. If you have only a vague concept of what forensic science is, this book will provide the answer. Aimed at non-scientists, or those with limited scientific knowledge, Crime Scene to Court covers all three main areas of an investigation where forensic science is practised, namely the scene of the crime, the forensic laboratory and the court. Coverage includes details of how crime scene and forensic examinations are conducted in the United Kingdom, the principles of crime scene investigations and the importance of this work in an investigation, and courtroom procedures and the role of the expert witness. The latest methods and techniques used in crime scene investigation and forensic laboratories are reported, cases are presented to illustrate why and how examinations are performed to generate forensic evidence and there is a bibliography for each chapter which provides further material for those readers wishing to delve deeper into the subject. This revised and updated edition also includes coverage on changes in professional requirements, the latest developments in DNA testing and two new chapters on computer based crimes and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. Ideal for those studying forensic science or law, the book is intended primarily for teaching and training purposes. However, anyone with a role in an investigation, for example police, crime scene investigators or indeed those called for jury service, will find this text an excellent source of information.
How certain can you be that matching fingerprints have a common origin? How reliable are the testing procedures for DNA and blood samples? What inferences can be drawn from the results of such procedures by criminal, family and immigration lawyers? If matching glass or fibre traces are found, what value can be placed on this evidence? The manner in which the defence, prosecution and expert witnesses deal with such questions can decide the outcome of a case. The important new techniques based on principles of logic and probability which the authors advocate in Interpreting Evidence offer litigants and witnesses clear and practical advice on the presentation of physical evidence in a courtroom. Written jointly by a lawyer and an expert in using probability in decision-making, Interpreting Evidence discusses actual case reports (such as the UK Birmingham Six case, the New York case of People v Castro, the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles and the Pengelly case in New Zealand) to illustrate this modern technique of interpreting scientific evidence. Equally applicable in every modern jurisdiction, Interpreting Evidence is essential reading for criminal, family and immigration lawyers as well as prosecution services, the judiciary and forensic scientists. For teachers and students of evidence this book will be invaluable as a teaching and discussion tool. "The general thesis of the book is admirable and the writing is very good indeed. It deserves to have considerable influence on the appreciation of scientific evidence in law." Professor Dennis Lindley, Professor of Statistics, University College London, UK (retired). "I am sure that this will become a standard work for all who need to understand the logic of evaluating evidence. The authors have taken great pains to avoid complicated mathematics and expose, with remarkable clarity, the essential principles of this fascinating, yet neglected, subject." Dr Ian Evett, Home Office Forensic Science Service, UK. "This is a book that must be read by anybody for whom scientific evidence may be important. Novices will find this book a clear guide to understanding how scientific evidence should be presented in litigation. Those who think of themselves as experts will find themselves stimulated by the able presentation and vigorous advocacy of the authors approach." Professor Richard Friedman, Professor of Law, University of Michigan, USA.
The interpretation and evaluation of scientific evidence and its presentation in a court of law is central both to the role of the forensic scientist as an expert witness and to the interests of justice. This book aims to provide a thorough and detailed discussion of the principles and practice of evidence interpretation and evaluation by using real cases by way of illustration. The presentation is appropriate for students of forensic science or related disciplines at advanced undergraduate and master's level or for practitioners engaged in continuing professional development activity. The book is structured in three sections. The first sets the scene by describing and debating the issues around the admissibility and reliability of scientific evidence presented to the court. In the second section, the principles underpinning interpretation and evaluation are explained, including discussion of those formal statistical methods founded on Bayesian inference. The following chapters present perspectives on the evaluation and presentation of evidence in the context of a single type or class of scientific evidence, from DNA to the analysis of documents. For each, the science underpinning the analysis and interpretation of the forensic materials is explained, followed by the presentation of cases which illustrate the variety of approaches that have been taken in providing expert scientific opinion.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Social Science
An accessible guide for students across a variety of disciplines who are studying forensic evidence throughout the criminal justice system. Containing up to date and classic case studies, photos and examples, it assumes no prior scientific knowledge to ensure the discussion is clear but comprehensive.
How and when did forensic science originate in the UK? This question demands our attention because our understanding of present-day forensic science is vastly enriched through gaining an appreciation of what went before. A History of Forensic Science is the first book to consider the wide spectrum of influences which went into creating the discipline in Britain in the first part of the twentieth century. This book offers a history of the development of forensic sciences, centred on the UK, but with consideration of continental and colonial influences, from around 1880 to approximately 1940. This period was central to the formation of a separate discipline of forensic science with a distinct professional identity and this book charts the strategies of the new forensic scientists to gain an authoritative voice in the courtroom and to forge a professional identity in the space between forensic medicine, scientific policing, and independent expert witnessing. In so doing, it improves our understanding of how forensic science developed as it did. This book is essential reading for academics and students engaged in the study of criminology, the history of forensic science, science and technology studies and the history of policing.