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NCJ Number: 68932 Find in a Library
Title: COORDINATION OF FORENSIC ACTIVITIES AND USE IN COURT (FROM INTRODUCTION TO FORENSIC SCIENCES, P 205-212, 1980, BY WILLIAM G ECKERT - SEE NCJ-71044)
Author(s): W G ECKERT
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: C V Mosby Co
St Louis, MO 63141
Sale Source: C V Mosby Co
11836 Westline Industrial Drive
St Louis, MO 63141
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ROLE OF FORENSIC EVIDENCE IN COURT PROCEEDINGS IS DISCUSSED IN THE FINAL CHAPTER OF 'INTRODUCTION TO FORENSIC SCIENCES'; THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE, THE DEFENSE AND PROSECUTION, AND WITNESSES ARE EMPHASIZED.
Abstract: ATTORNEYS ARE DEPENDENT ON THE QUALITY OF EVIDENCE THAT HAS BEEN COLLECTED AND PREPARED BY THOSE WHO WILL TESTIFY IN COURT. IN MANY CASES, THE TESTIMONY OF THE FORENSIC EXPERT IS CRUCIAL TO THE OUTCOME. BECAUSE THE OFFICIAL CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION IS CARRIED OUT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES, THE DEFENSE INVESTIGATORS ARE AT A DISADVANTAGE. IN GENERAL, THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURE WILL INCLUDE COLLECTION, PRESERVATION, PROCESSING, AND PRESENTATION OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE; INTERVIEWS WITH DEFENDANTS, WITNESSES, COMPLAINANTS, AND THE POLICE; REVIEW OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RECORDS; AND SURVEILLANCE. WITNESSES TO A CASE ARE CLASSIFIED BY ROLE. THEY INCLUDE EYE WITNESSES, CHARACTER WITNESSES, ALIBI WITNESSES, AND EXPERT WITNESSES. THE ATTORNEY ISSUING THE SUBPOENA SHOULD PREPARE THE EXPERT WITNESS TO DISCUSS THE CASE. AFTER THE EXPERT WITNESS IS SWORN, HE ESTABLISHES HIS EXPERTISE BY PRESENTING HIS CREDENTIALS. HE THEN PRESENTS FACTS RELATIVE TO HIS ROLE IN THE CASE, E.G., THE PATHOLOGIST OR MEDICOLEGAL INVESTIGATOR WOULD OFFER A DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES AT THE TIME OF THE DISCOVERY AND EXAMINATION OF THE BODY. FOLLOWING DIRECT EXAMINATION, CROSS-EXAMINATION MAY OCCUR. THE ROLE OF THE PROSECUTOR IN THE PROCEEDING IS TO PRESENT INFORMATION LEADING TO THE PROPER PROSECUTION OF THE CRIMINAL. DEFENSE ATTORNEYS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE AREAS OF VULNERABILITY IN THE PROSECUTOR'S CASES ARE RELATED TO THE COLLECTION AND PRESERVATION OF EVIDENCE. THE DEFENSE WILL THUS MAKE A POINT OF ANY INCONSISTENCIES NOTED REGARDING SUCH EVIDENCE. IN ADDITION, THE DEFENSE MAY CALL ITS OWN EXPERT WITNESS AND MAY ATTEMPT TO CAST DOUBT UPON THE TESTIMONY OF THE STATE'S EXPERT WITNESS. THE FORENSIC EXPERT IS CALLED TO IDENTIFY INCRIMINATING ITEMS, TO ESTABLISH THE MENTAL OR PHYSICAL CONDITION OF THE ACCUSED, TO ESTABLISH THE OCCURRENCE OF A CRIMINAL ACT, AND TO IMPEACH OR REHABILITATE WITNESSES. THE FORENSIC EXPERT MUST REMAIN A NEUTRAL WITNESS AND MUST PRESENT FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS IN A CONCISE, MEANINGFUL, AND HONEST MANNER.
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Criminal proceedings; Defense; Expert witnesses; Forensic medicine; Jurisprudence; Medicolegal considerations; Prosecution; Trial preparation; Trial procedures
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68932

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