Forensic Science Essay

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“Science, which gives its evidence impartially, is more closely allied to the truth than anything else.” (Lord Aitkin at the opening of the first forensic science lab in the UK in 1935). Discuss this quotation with particular reference to criminal cases in which forensic science played a crucial role in indicating the offender. Dr Edmund Locard of the University of Lyons, trained in both medicine and law, states in his now famous theory of interchange, that “every contact leaves a trace”. This, today forms the basis of the use of Forensic Science in criminal investigation. Such evidence is given primary status in many, if not all, criminal trials today ranging from crimes of murder to mere vandalism. Yet, despite the ‘heavyweight’ support given to the idea that forensic evidence is irrefutable it is argued by some that forensic science evidence alone should not convict. Arguably the Twentieth Century saw the explosion of science, not only in the area of forensic evidence but generally. Methods and techniques deployed in the gathering of evidence for conviction or acquittal changed at a dramatic pace and as each and every scientific discovery was made an application in Forensic Science was close behind. The gathering of forensic evidence at a crime scene is now paramount. It is now considered that this type of evidence is the most likely to not only identify the criminal but to convict him as well. In 1991, in recognition of this fact and to help deal with the growing demand for expert scientific help in policing, the Forensic Science Service (FSS) was set up as an executive agency of the Home Office. Providing a service to all police authorities in the UK and even abroad. In 2001, The FSS handled almost one new case per working minute, totalling 135,000 for the year. It is apparent therefore that Lord Aitkins’ view of the role of science in determining

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