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NCJ Number: 199138 Find in a Library
Title: Turning the Juries on to Computer Evidence: Strategies for Forensic Examiners and Prosecutors Preparing for Trial
Journal: Sex Offender Law Report  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:December/January 2003  Pages:1-2,13
Author(s): Jim Mills; Duncan Brown
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article identifes problems and solutions for prosecutors and forensic examiners in presenting computer-based evidence during trial to average jurors, having on average an eighth grade education, and offers advice on how the two can work together preparing evidence during the pretrial investigative phase.
Abstract: The authors present seven questions from the perspective of a prosecutor who will be presenting evidence at trial to a computer forensic examiner, in the context of child sexual exploitation cases. When high tech subjects are addressed in testimony, it is advised that the forensic examiner avoid being too technical, instead using an analogy or commonly used term that is equivalent to the technical term. When using analogies and parallels, it is recommended that any one analogy should be related to a key piece of evidence, not be overused for other points, and be clearly presented as an analogy or parallel. Specific analogies are described for use in clarifying particular technical terminology. Maintaining the integrity of the original dates of seized evidence that is accessed after seizure is discussed with the importance of fully documenting circumstances, dates, and times of the access post seizure. Some difficulties encountered are discussed, such as disconnecting a computer from a network and ensuring the ability to preserve electronic evidence stored in the hard drive and having to boot up at trial; alternative methods of forensic examination are considered when it is not possible to disconnect a computer from a network; best use of EnCase, a software program used by forensic experts; handling contaminated computer systems; and the importance of preparation in the successful presentation of technical evidence. A table provides an explanation of computer terminology used here.
Main Term(s): Computer aided investigations; Juries
Index Term(s): Attorney-jury interaction; Child Sexual Abuse; Forensic sciences; Pretrial discovery; Prosecutor training; Trial materials disclosure
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