Class Name, Instructor Name - University of Phoenix

Class Name, Instructor Name - University of Phoenix

Chapter 4: Collection of Crime Scene Evidence Class Name, Instructor Name Date, Semester Crime Scene Evidence As automobiles run on gasoline, crime laboratories run on physical evidence. Physical evidence encompasses any and all objects that can establish that a crime has been committed or can provide a link between a crime and its victim or a crime and its perpetrator. But if physical evidence is to be used effectively for

aiding the investigator, its presence first must be recognized at the crime scene laws. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Crime Scene Evidence Forensic science begins at the crime scene. If the investigator cannot recognize physical evidence or cannot properly preserve it for laboratory examination, no amount of sophisticated laboratory instrumentation or technical expertise can salvage the situation. Here, investigators must recognize and properly preserve evidence for laboratory examination. It must be emphasized that the techniques of crime-scene investigation are not difficult to master and certainly lie within the bounds of comprehension of the average police officer.

2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Physical Evidence Physical evidence encompasses any and all objects that can establish that a crime has or has not been committed or can provide a link between a crime and its victim or a crime and its perpetrator. But if physical evidence is to be used effectively for aiding the investigator, its presence first must be recognized at the crime scene. If the investigator cannot recognize physical evidence or cannot properly preserve it for laboratory examination, no amount of sophisticated laboratory instrumentation or technical expertise can salvage the situation. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc

Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Types of Physical Evidence Blood, semen, and saliva Documents Drugs Explosives Paint Petroleum products Plastic bags Fibers Plastic, rubber, and other polymers

Fingerprints Powder residues Firearms and ammunition Soil and minerals Glass Tool marks Hair Vehicle lights Impressions

Wood and other vegetative matter Organs and physiological fluids 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Procedures for Collection Often, many items of evidence are clearly visible but others may be detected only through examination at the crime laboratory. For this reason, it is important to collect possible carriers of trace evidence, such as clothing, vacuum sweepings, and fingernail scrapings, in addition to more discernible items.

2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Procedure for Collection Investigators handle and process physical evidence in a way that prevents changes to the evidence through contamination, breakage, evaporation, accidental scratching or bending, or through improper or careless packaging. The use of latex gloves, disposable forceps, and sanitized equipment reduces the chance for contamination. Whenever possible, one should keep evidence in its original condition as found at the crime scene. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved

Packaging Each different item or similar items collected at different locations must be placed in separate containers. Packaging evidence separately prevents damage through contact and prevents crosscontamination. The well-prepared evidence collector will arrive at a crime scene with a large assortment of packaging materials and tools ready to encounter any type of situation. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Packaging Disposable forceps and similar tools may have to be used to pick up small items.

Unbreakable plastic pill bottles with pressure lids are excellent containers for hairs, glass, fibers, and various other kinds of small or trace evidence. Alternatively, manila envelopes, screw-cap glass vials, or cardboard pillboxes are adequate containers for most trace evidence encountered at crime sites. Ordinary mailing envelopes should not be used as evidence containers because powders and fine particles will leak out of their corners. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Packaging Small amounts of trace evidence can also be conveniently packaged in a carefully folded paper, using what is known as a druggist fold. Evidence from arson scenes should be packaged in

airtight metal or glass containers to prevent the loss of accelerant vapors. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Packaging If biological or bloodstained materials are stored in airtight containers, the accumulation of moisture may encourage the growth of mold, which can destroy the evidential value. In these instances, the material should be allowed to air-dry before being packaged in wrapping paper, manila envelopes,

or paper bags. Contamination is a key concern during the collection of DNAcontaining specimens such as blood, saliva, sweat or skin cells. Contamination can occur either by introducing foreign DNA through coughing or sneezing onto evidence or if items of evidence are incorrectly placed in contact with each other during packaging. To prevent contamination, the evidence collector must wear a face mask and use disposable latex gloves and disposable forceps when collecting evidence that may contain DNA. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved

Chain of Custody Chain of Custody: a list of all persons who came into possession of an item of evidence. Continuity of possession, or the chain of custody, must be established whenever evidence is presented in court as an exhibit. Adherence to standard procedures in recording the location of evidence, marking it for identification, and properly completing evidence submission forms for laboratory analysis is critical to chain of custody.

This means that every person who handled or examined the evidence and where it is at all times must be accounted for. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Obtaining Reference Samples Standard/Reference Sample: Physical evidence whose origin is known, such as blood or hair from a suspect, that can be compared to crime-scene evidence. The examination of evidence, whether it is soil, blood, glass, hair, fibers, and so on, often requires comparison with a

known standard/reference sample. Although most investigators have little difficulty recognizing and collecting relevant crime-scene evidence, few seem aware of the necessity and importance of providing the crime lab with a thorough sampling of standard/reference materials. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Submitting Evidence Evidence is usually submitted to the laboratory either by personal delivery or by mail shipment. Care must be taken in packaging evidence that will be sent by mail in order to prevent breakage or other

accidental destruction during transit to the laboratory. Most laboratories require that an evidence submission form accompany all evidence submitted. Case information provided on this form enables the laboratory analyst to make an intelligent and complete examination of the evidence. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Crime Scene Safety Crime scenes frequently present the investigator with biological specimens of unknown origin; the investigator has no way of gauging what health hazards they may contain. One must use caution and protection at all times. The Hot zone is the active crime scene area, which means contaminates and probable evidence exists in

this region. In the Hot zone, all Crime Scene Technicians should be suited up with Personal Protection Equipment, also known as PPE, such as masks, foot protections, eye protections, and gloves. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Crime Scene Safety It is recommended that personnel always wear double-gloved latex gloves and possibly chemical resistant clothing, Tyvek-type shoe covers, a particle mask/respirator, goggles, or face shields when potentially infectious material is present. Gloves should be changed often. Personnel should maintain a red biohazard plastic bag for the disposal of contaminated gloves, clothing, masks, pencils, wrapping paper, and so on.

2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Crime Scene Safety When processing and collecting evidence at a crime scene, personnel should be alert to sharp objects, knives, hypodermic syringes, razor blades, and similar items. Eating, drinking, smoking, eating, and chewing gum are prohibited at the immediate crime scene. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Crime Scene Safety Updates of current Crime Scene Safety regulations

and education should be made annually by a designated Crime Scene Safety Coordinator. Health inspections should also be part of the job requirements for the use of certain safety equipment utilized at the crime scenes. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Search and Seizure Protocols The removal of any evidence from a person or from the scene of a crime must be done in conformity with Fourth Amendment privileges: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizure, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but

upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Search and Seizure Protocols The United States Supreme Court has determined that search and seizure without a court-approved warrant is justified in four cases: 1) The existence of emergency circumstances 2) The need to prevent the immediate loss or destruction of evidence 3) A search of a person and property within the immediate control of the person provided it is

made incident to a lawful arrest 4) A search made by consent of the parties involved 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved Search and Seizure Landmark Cases In the case of Mincey v. Arizona, the Court dealt with the legality of a four-day search at a homicide scene and determined that the evidence was illegally seized because a warrant was never issued and the circumstances of the case did not justify a warrantless search. In Michigan v. Tyler, fire destroyed a business establishment leased by Loren Tyler and a business partner. The court decided that evidence obtained from the initial search was legally seized, but

evidence obtained from searches 4, 7, and 24 days after the incident were illegally seized. 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All Rights Reserved

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