These discussion questions are taken from your reading of chapters 1 through 4 in the text. Respond to one of the options discussion listed below. There are enough options that most people can answer a discussion question not answered by others. The goal is to cover all the topics to allow a wide coverage of the material.
Option 1:You are called to investigate a death. Upon arrival you are told that you are the lead investigator. It is apparent that it is a homicide and that it occurred in a home. Describe in detail how you will go about processing the scene. Hint – begin with documenting your receipt of the call make sure you include the walk through of the scene and your approach. Then continue on with the assignments. Do this in step format so that it is clear how you are handling the scene. By this I mean that you must number your steps. That is:
1. Date and time call was received…
.10. Date and time crime lab leaves scene…
For illustration purposes I labeled the last step as (10). There may be more steps or fewer steps.
Assume you have adequate staff to cover the tasks you assign. Lastly, in a comprehensive manner discuss why it is important to follow these steps.
Option 2:Our text contains a list of common types of physical evidence. Let us do something different on this discussion board. Below is that list of physical evidence types. Select three of these categories of physical evidence THAT HAVE NOT BEEN SELECTED BY ANYONE ELSE IN THECLASS. Describe a technique(s) to discover the existence of the evidence if it is not easily seen, and how that evidence would be collected and preserved. Collection is how the evidence is handled, picked up, and examined at the crime scene. Preservation is how the evidence is packaged to prevent contamination, loss, or alteration during transportation to and storage in the property/evidence room for later transportation to the crime laboratory.
blood, semen, saliva documents drugs explosives fibers fingerprints firearms and ammunition glass hair impressions organs and physiological fluids paint petroleum products plastic bags plastic, rubber and other polymers powder residues serial numbers soil and minerals took marks vehicle lights wood and other vegetative matter
Option 3:The crime scene search is a vital part of a criminal investigation. Select an existing home or office room to which you have access, but do not reveal its location. Identify the crime committed in that space, identify the search pattern you used to search it, and describe the room and any evidence found. Knowing the actual evidence of such a non-existing crime will not be there, you may state probable evidence to be found at such a crime and describe its condition and location. This will take some imagination but should be a fun exercise.
Option 4: You are the first officer at the scene of an outdoor assault. You find the victim bleeding but conscious, with two of the victim’s friends and several onlookers standing nearby. You call for backup and quickly glance around but see no one fleeing the scene. Describe the steps you would take while waiting for backup and investigators to arrive.
Option 5:Define evidence with individual characteristics and evidence with class characteristics. For each of the following pieces of evidence, indicate whether the item is more likely to possess class or individual characteristics, and explain your answer.
a. an impression from
automobile pulls b.
a fingerprint c. a
spent bullet cartridge d.
synthetic fiber e.
pieces of a shredded document f. commercial potting soil g. skin and hair scrapings h. fragments of multilayer custom automobile paint
Option 6: Describe in some detail CODIS.
Option 7: List at least three advantages of having an evidence collection unit process a crime scene rather than a police officer or detective.
Option 8:Officer Bill Walter arrives at the scene of an apparent murder: a body bearing several gunshot wounds lies on the floor of a small, unairconditioned house in late July. A pungent odor almost overwhelms him when he enters the house, so he opens a window to allow him to breathe so he can investigate the scene. While airing out the house, he secures the scene and interviews bystanders. When he inspects the scene, he discovers very little blood in the room and little evidence of a struggle. What mistakes, if any, did Officer Walter make in his investigation? What conclusions did he draw about the scene from his observations?
Option 9:Officer Martin Guajardo is the first responder at an apparent homicide scene. After securing the area, interviewing the sole witness, and calling for backup, he begins to search for evidence. He makes note of a bloody knife lying next to the body, with a small scrap of bloody cloth clinging precariously to the knife. Because it is a very windy day, Officer Guajardo removes the scrap of fabric and seals it in a plastic bag. A few moments later, a crime-scene team, including a photographer, arrives to take over the investigation. What mistakes, if any, did Officer Guajardo make before the crime-scene team arrived?
Option 10:During his search of a homicide scene, investigator David Gurney collects evidence that includes a bloody shirt. After the crime scene has been completely processed, Investigator Gurney packages the shirt in a paper bag, seals the bag, and labels it to indicate the content. He then delivers the shirt to the laboratory with an evidence submission form. There, a forensic scientist breaks the seal, removes the shirt, and performs a series of tests on it. He replaces the shirt, discards the old seal, and places a new seal on the package containing his initials and the date on which it was resealed. What mistakes, if any, were made in handling the shirt?
Option 11:Examine the bloodstain patterns on page 100 of the text. Which three drops struck the surface closest to a ninety-degree angle? Explain your answer. Which three drops struck the surface furthest from a ninety-degree angle? Explain your answer. In which direction were drops 2 and 7 traveling when they struck the surface? Explain your answer.
Option 12:List and describe the general features of bloodstain formation in detail.
Option 13:List and describe in detail the three types of impact bloodstain spatter patterns.
Option 14:What are the characteristics of gunshot spatter and of cast-off spatter?
Option 15: Describe the procedures to document bloodstain pattern evidence.
Option 16. While investigating a murder scene, police gather evidence that includes a dead body riddled with stab sounds, fingerprints on a bloody knife found near the body, and a ticket stub from a theater several miles away from the scene. Detectives determine that the knife belongs to the victim, but matched prints on the knife to an acquaintance of the victim. When questioned, the acquaintance claims he was at the movies at the time of the murder – the same movie shown on the ticket stub at the scene. What direct physical evidence connects the acquaintance to the crime scene? What circumstantial evidence connects him to the scene? What can you conclude about the acquaintance’s involvement solely from direct physical evidence and deductive reasoning? What could you conclude considering circumstantial evidence and inductive reasoning as well?
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