Can the Law Keep up with Science?
Week 4 – Assignment
The Science of Evidence
[WLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4] [CLOs: 2, 4, 5]
Last week, you evaluated on-scene analysis and documentation. This week, the focus will shift to the scientific processes accomplished within the crime laboratory. In addition to the scientific processes, it is important to understand the standards applied to determine if the scientific process and its results can or should be admitted at trial. While science uses the peer review process to evaluate credibility, the courts also use case law to evaluate the standards for forensic science.
Prior to beginning work on this assignment, please review the following:
From the text:
Chapter 5: Forensic Toxicology
Chapter10: Blood and Other Biological Fluids
Chapter 11: DNA Analysis
Surrogate Testimony After Williams: A New Answer to the Question of Who May Testify Regarding the Contents of a Laboratory Report
What Happens If Autopsy Reports Are Found Testimonial?: The Next Steps to Ensure the Admissibility of These Critical Documents in Criminal Trials
To Analyse a Trace or Not? Evaluating the Decision-Making Process in the Criminal Investigation
Examining the Role of Science in the Courtroom: Admissibility and Reliability of Forensic Science in the Courtroom
Testing the Testimonial Doctrine: The impact of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts on State-level Criminal Prosecutions an Procedure
The e-book Forensic Science Evidence: Can the Law Keep up with Science?
From the video Forensic Science in Action: From Crime Scene to Courtroom: Segment 6. Forensics: Examination of the Victim 03:25
The video Duties of a Forensic Scientist in the Forensic Biology Lab shown above.
You must use at least three Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. in addition to the course text.
You are also strongly encouraged to review the recommended sources, which may further support this assignment.
In your paper, address the following:
Evaluate the evolution of forensic science, focusing on the types of scientific analysis conducted in crime laboratories.
Explain how the changes in science and evidence processing over the last century have affected the criminal justice system.
Describe at least four major types of scientific testing conducted by crime laboratories.
Describe the evidentiary value of the four major testing processes identified.
Analyze the current standards (based on case law) for admitting scientific evidence at trial, specifically addressing the four types of scientific testing identified in your paper.
The Science of Evidence paper
Must be 750 words in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Must include a separate title page with the following:
Title of paper
Course name and number
For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. resource for additional guidance.
Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., refer to the Ashford Writing Center resources.
Must use at least three scholarly, peer-reviewed, and/or credible sources in addition to the course text.
The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
To assist you in completing the research required for this assignment, view this Ashford University Library Quick ‘n’ Dirty (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. tutorial, which introduces the Ashford University Library and the research process, and provides some library search tips.
Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. resource in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.
Consider using Q for your library research and to access writing supports, and tutoring services available to you. See the Guide to Installing and Using Q (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for more information.
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