Prior to beginning work on this assignment, please review the following:
- The article Policies and Practices in Cold Cases: An Exploratory Study
- The report Using DNA to Solve Cold Cases (Links to an external site.)
- This video Just Wrong: The Aftermath of Wrongful Convictions (Links to an external site.)
The Crime Scene Evidence Analysis Report Final Paper will focus on demonstrating an awareness of the scientific methodology used to solve crimes by analyzing a virtual crime scene simulation. You will document the appropriate procedures for protecting a crime scene; how to identify and document evidence; evidence handling, testing, and standards for the admissibility of evidence; scientific testing; and expert testimony at trial. You will also describe the broad role of forensic science in contributing toward a more just society.
Sections of your assignments from Weeks 2 through 4 will apply to sections of the Crime Scene Evidence Analysis Report Final Paper. You may use sections from those papers verbatim in the text of the Crime Scene Evidence Analysis Report Final Paper if you so choose. If the assignments are used, please ensure that all instructor feedback/corrections have been applied.
You are a member of the Crime Scene Response Unit (CSRU) at Metro City Police Department. The unit manager just assembled the team for a briefing about a callout and has assigned you as lead on this scene, making you responsible for documenting the appropriate procedures for protecting the crime scene; how to identify and document evidence; evidence handling, testing, and standards for the admissibility of evidence; what scientific testing should be done at the laboratory; and expert testimony at trial. The multimedia element shown below is the CSRU managerâ€™s briefing for you and your team.
After watching the briefing, you will respond to the crime scene by entering the virtual crime scene simulation (Links to an external site.). Access the CRJ311 Basic Instructions
Download CRJ311 Basic Instructionsdocument for tips on how best to navigate through this virtual crime scene. If you are unable to run the simulation, please contact your instructor. You will be able to move through the crime scene, examine items in closer detail, and determine what is evidence. You should take notes just as you would at a physical scene, as you will need to identify each piece of evidence and how it will be handled when you write the Crime Scene Evidence Analysis Report Final Paper. Use relevant examples from the virtual crime scene and a minimum of 10 scholarly and/or credible resources, which may include resources previously used to support your work in Weeks 2 through 4. The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types.
In your Crime Scene Evidence Analysis Report Final Paper,
- Summarize thoroughly the situation as it was known prior to arriving at the virtual scene in your introduction. Note that your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper. For assistance on Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the Writing Center resources.
- Explain how the virtual crime scene will be protected.
- Describe how the virtual crime scene should be approached and why such steps are necessary.
- Identify what steps are necessary to protect the virtual crime scene from contamination or loss of evidence and why this is an important element of crime scene management.
- Determine evidence collection procedures appropriate to the virtual crime scene.
- Describe how each item of evidence will be documented.
- Identify which collection technique should be used for each piece of evidence.
- Differentiate among techniques and explain why different techniques are appropriate to these types of evidence.
- Illustrate chain of custody. As part of this element
- Describe what chain of custody means.
- Explain why it is important to protect the integrity of the evidence collected at the virtual crime scene.
- Assess the potential impact on testing and admissibility if chain of custody is not clearly established.
- Categorize evidence testing related to the virtual crime scene. As part of this element
- Distinguish what types of field testing should be used at the virtual crime scene.
- Distinguish what types of laboratory testing should be used on evidence collected at the virtual crime scene.
- Compare the possible evidentiary findings and in-court admissibility of the field and laboratory tests.
- Analyze current standards for the admissibility of the scientific evidence from your virtual crime scene at trial. As part of this element
- Explain the common standards used by the courts to evaluate the admissibility of scientific evidence.
- Determine any possible challenges to the admissibility of the collected evidence and what can be done proactively to ensure admissibility.
- Assess how following valid methodology and properly using forensic science at trial contributes to sustaining a more just society