- What is forensic science? Forensic science is the application of science to the criminal justice system.
- What three tasks or responsibilities does a forensic scientist have? A forensic scientist can collect and analyze data from crime scenes, and train other law enforcement individuals. Forensic scientists can work in the lab, go out and collect data, or teach at colleges and universities.
- What criteria might be used to establish someone as an expert witness? Courts take in the educational degrees that the person has, any publications that they may have, how many years that they have been involved in their field, and any professional organizations that the person is a member of.
- What are two of the ways that a forensic pathologist might use to help determine the time of death? A forensic pathologist can use rigor mortis and liver mortis to figure out time of death.
- What does a forensic anthropologist do? A forensic anthropologist specializes in identifying and examining skeletons and skeletal remains.
Critical Thinking Questions
1) Why do you think it is so important to use proper methods when collecting evidence from a crime scene? It is important to use proper methods when collecting evidence so that you can be able to analyze it correctly and get the correct information. If you do not use proper methods and collect the wrong information, then even the most experienced forensic scientist cannot analyze it and the criminal will get away, and you will never know the truth of what happened.
2) Why do you think forensic science has been increasingly used by the criminal justice system? I think that forensic science has been increasingly used by the criminal justice system because it is science, which is easier to analyze and to understand exactly why and how things happened. It also makes it easier because you’re not just listening to two sides of the story, or even one side of the story, and deciding from that. Instead, you’re using actual evidence to find out exactly what happened, which is what makes forensic science so effective, especially when used by the criminal justice system.
3) Which of the forensic scientist’s responsibilities do you think would be the most challenging? Why? I think that the most difficult responsibility of a forensic scientist is being an expert witness. I think that it would be challenging because you’re testifying in a very important court case, you’re under pressure, and you cannot lie, leave out details, or stretch the truth. Whatever you say affects whether or not the criminal in the case is found guilty or walks free, which can be very stressful to think about.
4) Which of the forensic scientist’s responsibilities do you think would be the most interesting to you? Why? I think that the most interesting responsibility of a forensic scientist would be analyzing the data. I would always want to be the one to piece together a puzzle, and to solve a crime to figure out exactly what happened in a case. I think that it would be challenging, but it would also be interesting to join in on a case and examine and analyze the data to figure different things out.
5) Which of the specialty areas do you think you would most like to work in? Why? I would be more interested in participating and working in forensic pathology. I would really enjoy doing autopsies and finding out time of death and the cause of death of people. I would enjoy working with blood and tissue samples, and I would feel very accomplished when I finally solved a mystery.