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Timothy Judd(Dec 5, 2018 12:27 AM) – Read by: 1Reply to This Message Reply

1.  Discuss the various identification methods used in the criminal justice system. Discuss some of the flaws with eye witness identifications? 

 One of the most common methods used by law enforcement to identify a suspect is usually by an eye witness.  Other methods could be the use of video surveillance cameras, fingerprints and other types of physical evidence which may pin point a suspect.  With all the technology that is available to law enforcement, there still are failures that take place especially when it comes to dealing with eye witnesses.  Eye witnesses could have the best intentions to provide accurate recollection of an incident however, the memory may be obscured by many factors.  For example, how long ago did the incident take place that the person saw the suspect, was the eye witness a victim in the crime to where adrenaline or stress was involved, the complexion of the suspect may hinder the ability for the eye witness to give accurate details of the suspect.  Over a period of time a individuals memory begins to fade.


2.  What is the difference between physical evidence and circumstantial evidence? Which do you believe is more reliable to a jury? Discuss why. 

 Physical evidence is just that, it is evidence that is usually found at the crime scene.  These types of evidence can be fingerprints, footprints, tools of the crime, basically anything that is physical in nature including DNA.  Circumstantial evidence may be consistent with the evidence found at that crime scene, which correlated with other types of statements made by a suspect like threats or actions that he or she may have contributed in.  

3.  What are some of the benefits and drawbacks to relying on DNA evidence in a criminal case? 

.  DNA plays an important role in most cases, just because it can analyze all types of body fluid and be able to determine victims, suspects or even others that may have been in the crime during that time.  There are two types of DNA testing, Nuclear DNA and Mitochondrial DNA.  Nuclear DNA is the most common type which analyzes body fluids, skin cells, hair with root ending and bone fragments.  Nuclear DNA also has a sub DNA which is the Y-Chromosome DNA testing, this testing helps determine types crimes like sexual assault, missing person or intelligence gathering.  Mitochondrial DNA is that which is the lineage between mother and child.  This type assist Law Enforcement solving cases like missing persons, cold case files and mass destruction.  To me the neat thing about DNA is how with the advancement of technology and the use of the CODIS it can look at old case files that have either never been solved or at times being able to free a person from incarceration of a crime that he or she may not have committed.  Even though DNA and CODIS are awesome tools it takes importance that the field work generated by the investigators during a case is extremely cared for so that proper and uncontaminated evidence is not destroyed (Almog, 2006).

Almog J. Forensic Science Does Not Start in the Lab: The Concept of Diagnostic Field Tests. Journal Of Forensic Sciences (Wiley-Blackwell) [serial online]. November 2006;51(6):1228-1234. Available from: Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 21, 2017.


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