Technology And Science Unite: Solving Crimes

964 words - 4 pages

Technology and Science Unite: Solving Crimes

The focus of this paper will be on the development of forensics in the criminal justice profession, both past and present. The main focus will be on the roll technology has played in the updating and improvements in the field of DNA study, fingerprinting, and the newest concern of forensic teams, computer crimes. All levels of law enforcement depend on the technological improvements in forensics in one form or another. From the FBI to local police departments, and from court systems to crime solving, forensics has a part in everything. Together, science and technology have made it possible to solve crimes that would have been impossible in the past.

Forensic Science began as far back as 700 A.D. when the Chinese culture would use fingerprints to establish identities on documents and clay sculptures. Although at this point there was no classification system for the prints. It was not until 1896 that a system was invented to deal with the prints fingers leave behind, Sir Edward Henry developed the system that would later be used in Europe and North America. In 1901, Henry was appointed head of Scotland Yard and forced the replacement of anthropometry with fingerprint I.D. This same year the use of prints became implemented in the U.S. by the New York Civil Service Commission.

It was not until 1903 that the use of fingerprints took over prison systems, which began in New York. Many years passed before another improvement was made upon the fingerprinting methods and systems. Finally in 1977 the FBI began AFIS, the Automated Fingerprint Identification System. This was the first computerized scan of fingerprints.

AFIS has since been updated and upgraded to the level that now interdepartmental submissions are possible due to computerized searches of the fingerprint databases. The searches can be performed via live scans or through card scan devices. In short time this gave way to better technology in 1999 when the FBI now hold the national database, but the system itself has become integrated. Among the upgraded components came the paper-less submission, storage techniques and search capabilities.

Technology has been responsible for other forms of identification as well, such as DNA. The first DNA profiling test was developed in 1984, and DNA was first used to solve crime in 1986. Before this, it was used to clear the name of an innocent suspect. Although it was not until a year later that this new method hit the courts of the U.S. in Florida. Over the years much challenge has been presented opposing the use of DNA in court cases, but in 1998 the FBI began NIDIS, which is a DNA database that enabled states to link crimes together from one to another.

Thanks to technology the procedures of bullet tracing and comparison have vastly improved as well. The first case of physical matching took place in 1784 in England when a murderer was convicted by matching a piece of newspaper in a pistol with...

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