Crime Lab Essay

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FEBRUARY 3, 2013 INVESTIGATIVES METHODOLOGY IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE A crime laboratory - often shortened to crime lab - is a scientific laboratory, using primarily forensic science for the purpose of examining evidence from criminal cases. These labs generally use forensic science to examine evidences. After examination, they provide reports and opinion testimony. The testimony and reports are presented before a court of law. In the U.S., crime laboratories are operated both at public and private levels. Generally, crime labs have two types of people working under it: a. Field analysts - Investigators who go to crime scenes to collect evidence, and process the scene. Most crime labs in the U.S. are under the police or prosecution control which opens the door for a number of problems with corruption as the headliner. Crime labs are subject to being victims of incentives. They are being incentivized to turn out results that will be favorable to prosecutors in getting criminal convictions. This introduces a point of compromise in a process that is supposed to be free of bias and partiality. We as humans loved to be rewarded. When a performance is rewarded, a subject will produce more of it and naturally when a performance is not rewarded, a subject will produce less of it. It is also known that the government rewards crime labs verifying unknown substances to be illegal narcotics, for finding a driver’s blood alcohol content to be over a certain number and determining a package of drugs is over a certain weight so a heavier charge can be imposed. Police often share their suspicions regarding suspects with lab workers before forensic examinations are performed. This introduces prejudice to lab personnel in areas such as fingerprint examination and chemical testing for accelerants in arson investigations. Some lab examiners feel they are part of the prosecution

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