Criminal Investigations Essay

1424 words - 6 pages

Criminal Investigations are ways that crimes are looked at and criminals arrested (In Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011). It is a huge part of getting criminals off the street. Investigation is a crucial aspect for many different crimes such as, but not limited to, theft, robbery, burglary, arson, murder, and assault. Criminal Investigations can take days or up to many years to solve; some cases are never closed. Not only can investigations last for extended periods of time, the lives of those working on such cases can be put in danger.
Crime scene processing plays a large part in bringing a victim justice. However, crime scene processing is also an area that needs improvement due to some errors that come from this tedious process. This is a lengthy process that needs to be documented at every point. First, there will be a walkthrough of the crime scene. Following that, criminal investigators will go inside the crime scene and start taking photographs, but will not touch anything. As soon as that process is completed, investigators will walk through the scene, yet again, bagging all the evidence to send to the lab. Errors can be made during this step, which could include documented evidence getting lost or altered if not documented properly. Finally after evidence is sent to the lab and processed, the results will be sent to the top detective. The investigation continues and the investigators on the case must be sure to document everything that is discovered or carried out; if details are not recorded correctly errors can be made and important facts missed. A chain of evidence must be kept as investigators continue to collect information. This collected evidence will be given to one person to keep track of, who would also most likely be called into court to make sure that things were not altered.
Part of the evidence that is collected during the crime scene processing is DNA. DNA was first used to convict an offender of a crime and jail time in 1988. Once DNA is sent out to be tested, there are three different results: inclusions, exclusions, and inconclusive. An Inclusion result is when the DNA taken at the crime scene comes back and matches the DNA of the suspect, pointing that the suspect was at the scene of the crime. Exclusions are the exact opposite; they come back negative, and the suspect is eliminated from committing the crime. Inconclusive results occur when there is not enough DNA to determine who it belongs to. DNA results do not guarantee that someone committed the crime, but it is based on probability or probable cause that he or she was the offender. A forensic expert that testifies will never say that he or she is one hundred percent sure that this person committed the crime; he or she will say that the chance of someone else having the same DNA is slim (Harris, 2011).
DNA testing in the past needed high quality DNA to encode it. Today, newer procedures can test DNA that has a much lower quality (Harris,...

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