Flashcards in Unit 3 AC1.1 Deck (31)
Name a miscarriage of justice case you have researched
What does an SOCO do?
SOCO’s work alongside police officers to help solve crimes. They're experts trained to take photographs of evidence and identify traces left at crime scenes. They attend a wide range of scenes including vehicle crimes, burglaries, murders and unexplained deaths.
What type of equipment does a SOCO use?
Cameras, paper bags, personal protective equipment, bodily fluid collection kits, evidence seals/tape, torches, measuring devices, tweezers and spray paint.
what are the Typical types of trace evidence searched for by crime scene investigators
hairs, Clothing fibres, Fingerprints, Skin cells, Body fluids/ tissues, Shoe prints
What are the limitations for a SOCO?
-the work requires specialist skills such as forensic photography as well as patience, care and attention to detail. Not collecting and recording evidence correctly or allowing it to become contaminated can lead to a guilty person going free or an innocent one being convicted.
-forensic samples that CSIs handle may but their health and safety at risk, for example: blood, bodily fluids, hazardous chemicals, explosives and incendiary devices, firearms and ammunition, knives and hypodermic syringes.
-this type of work can be stressful and very demanding emotionally especially when having to attend gruesome crime scenes or post mortem examinations.
Who was Meredith Kercher and what happened in the case of Amanda Knox and used in court to suggest the evidence collected was unreliable?
Meredith was a student in Italy when she was murdered, Amanda Knox was accused of killing Meredith, her roommate, in court evidence was declared contaminated and therefore unreliable. If pieces of evidence are collected and tested together without using new pairs of gloves and boot protector’s DNA from one object or crime scene can be passed on to other pieces of evidence.
what is the role of a forensic scientist and their role in a criminal investigation
Using scientific knowledge and expertise forensic scientists analyse and interpret evidence that has been recovered from the crime scene. Samples of blood or bodily fluids may be analysed in order for DNA to be extracted and compared with a ‘control sample’ taken from a suspect to see if there’s a match. Once this has been done, forensic scientists will produce a report of their findings and interpretations to present to the court. Most of the time forensic scientists will specialise in certain areas such as DNA analysis, fires in arson cases and toxicology in cases of poisoning or drug overdose.
Who was Adam Scott and what happened to cause the injustice?
A forensics error led to Adam being held for 5 months on a charge of rape in the UK. The DNA sample from the rape victim was contaminated during a routine DNA extraction procedure despite their being evidence he was at home in Plymouth at the time of the event.
explain a different miscarriage of justice case you have researched due to forensics evidence being incorrect?
Edward Spatt served 7 years in an Australian jail for the murder of Rosa Simpler, but he was later pardoned and given compensation in 1984 after the royal commissioner found evidence was unreliable and that some contamination of the crime scene has possibly occurred.
What are some of the limitations of a forensic scientist?
-because they are so highly qualified their services are expensive.
-contamination of evidence can occur when it is being examined by scientists.
-forensic experts may disagree and therefore because the court lacks specialist knowledge and may be unable to evaluate which side is correct.
-miscarriages of justice may occur if an expert deliberately or accidentally misleads the court.
what are the various roles within the police service that are specialists and consider how they contribute to the evaluation of the police in a criminal investigation. Is it case of too many cooks or is it highly effective?
CIDs deals with investigations into serious crimes. These count as robberies, burglaries, sexual offences, fraud, serious assaults and murders. CID officer sometimes assist uniformed officers in investigating the less serious crimes, such as theft. Police officers are a bigger class which includes CID officer, while a CID officer is a police officer posted in CID branch of the police
CID detectives primarily investigate felony-level crime and provide criminal investigative support to the Patrol Division.
Main responsibilities for CIDs include: Evaluate and prioritise the allocation of crimes, direct major incidents as required, supervise and participate in interviews, supervise and assist in the training of probationary officers and ensure that processes are in place to facilitate the transfer of intelligence gained during the course of investigation
how effective was the role of the police in the Stephen Lawrence investigation
The police’s incompetency in the murder case allowed the killers to go free because of prejudice in the ranks. This led to the Macpherson inquiry, which found the Metropolitan police guilty of institutional racism.
What was the Macpherson Report and what did it say in it’s findings about racism and the police?
The MacPherson report made 70 recommendations designed to show a zero tolerance for racism in society. The report found that the investigation into the killing of Stephen Lawrence had been “marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership”. 67 of the report’s recommendations led to specific changes in practice or the law within two years of publication and saw that the double jeopardy law was abolished. In addition, measures to transform the attitudes of the police and civil services towards race relations were implemented.
list some of the police failings in the investigation at the Hillsborough disaster
• A maximum number for the stadium capacity should have been given to the police in order to stop overcrowding and keep a record of those who entered. The turnstile should have been the only way of entering, the gates shouldn’t have been opened.
• A cut off time should have been decided prior to the event to stop overcrowding and more fans being able to enter.
• Exit gate C should have been monitored once opened.
• Kick off should have been delayed.
• Failure to prevent crowd congestion.
• The tunnel should have been closed
• The slow response from the emergency services.
What are some of the limitations of the police in a criminal investigation for instance Hillsborough?
• They can investigate and provide factual evidence, but cannot decide the innocence or guilt of the perpetrator
• In gathering their evidence, they must do so in a lawful way (there are certain things they’re not allowed to do e.g. they can’t extract evidence from a suspect via the use of violence)
• The police cant withhold evidence – In the Hillsborough disaster police withheld evidence that would’ve potentially incriminated them e.g. files detailing police cover-ups (later given to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)).
• Small rural police don’t have the same access to funding, resources and technology as some of the larger city forces do, which may lead to more time being spent solving a case or resulting in unsolved cases.
What is police corruption and how may it effect a criminal investigation? name an example to show this and explain the police corruption.
• Police corruption is a form of police misconduct in which law enforcement officers end up breaking their political contract and abuse their power for personal gain.
• Types of corruption include: bribery, extortion, cronyism and nepotism (favouriting family members or friends over others), parochialism (limited or narrow outlook), patronage (support or financial aid that an organisation bestows to another) and embezzlement. Corruption may help criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though it is not restricted to these.
• Case example = 2 ex-Baltimore officers convicted in police corruption scandal. Two of the detectives, Momodu Gondo and Jemell Rayam, admitted to leading double lives as police officers and armed drug dealers. They were praised for taking guns off the streets, but they were secretly dedicating themselves to shaking down citizens and hunting for "monsters”.
what is the CPS
It is an independent prosecution agency, working with the police to review cases and decide if it is appropriate to prosecute.
They apply tests to cases in order to decide if there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and whether its in the public interest.
They decide whether the police charge the suspect and what their charge will be.
It prepares cases for court hearings, collecting evidence from the police and disclosing material to the defence.
Crown prosecutors from the CPS present the prosecution case in court.
The CPS has specialised divisions dealing with prosecutions that require specialist knowledge such as serious organised crime, terrorism and complex frauds.
what are some of the CPS's limitations
• Its relationship with the police has sometimes been difficult, e.g. in the case of hate preacher, Abu Hamza, recently found guilty of inciting murder. Prior to this, the police had evidence, which they put to the CPS, but the CPS refused to prosecute on more than one occasion.
• The CPS have the power to reject a police request to prosecute someone because evidence gathered is inadequate it can make the relationship difficult at times. But it means prosecution are less likely to fail due to inadequate investigation by the police.
• The CPS have sometimes made serious errors e.g. not reviewing evidence thoroughly before prosecuting resulting in failings such as the murder of Damilola Taylor when evidence of a key witness was dismissed the case collapsed.
• Funding and staffing cuts in recent years have meant a growing burden of cases.
what happened in the Damilola Taylor case and why was the CPS’s reputation damaged as a result?
On 27 November, 10-year-old Damilola Taylor was stabbed in the leg with broken glass by two brothers, Danny and Ricky Preddie, who were persistent young offenders. The murder trial highlighted weaknesses in the criminal justice system and failings in the police investigation. Concerns about Witness Bromley were raised by investigating officers because her interviews contained little relevant evidence – They said the interviewing officer was unable to ask the right questions because of lack of knowledge of the case. The prosecution's case has been widely criticised for being riddled with holes and far too reliant on unreliable witnesses whose testimonies were easily undermined in court.
An inspection of the CPS in London found that about 1,800 defendants a year with serious offences including robbery and supplying heroin are set free by magistrates because the CPS is not ready to go ahead with their committals on time.
What is a pathologist and what is their role?
A pathologist performs or supervises tests on blood, other body fluids, body secretions and samples of tissue taken at surgery or as a part of a medical examination or autopsy – a forensic pathologist performs an autopsy to determine the manner and a cause of death.
What limitations may exist for a pathologist in their role in an investigation?
o There are very few home office registered pathologists in England and Wales, 35, as it requires up to 7 years of additional training once qualifying as a doctor.
o As highly trained specialists they are well paid and forensic pathology services can be an expensive part of a criminal investigation.
o The job is emotionally demanding given the nature of cases and the condition of the deceased. E.g. Richard Shepherd, pathologist, was diagnosed with PTSD after 27 years of working in the area.
What happened in the Anthony Hardy case with the pathologist involved in the case?
The pathologist, Dr Freddie Patel, wrongly concluded that a murder victim had died of natural causes without considering other possibilities, allowing the Camden Ripper to be set free. Despite there being a wound to the head and a bite mark on her thigh recorded, heart disease was given as her official cause of death.
describe investigative techniques
Use of intelligence databases to investigate crime has become a key part of a criminal investigation in modern times. Police use many databases to help store and access information. Examples include the UK National DNA database and Police National Computer or PNC. This holds extensive information on people, vehicles, property and crimes themselves. The Greater Metropolitan Police Service of Greater London run Criminit – it stores information on criminals, suspected criminals and protesters. There are also databases that contain information from witnesses, informants and agents.
Forensic science is the use of evidence to piece together information on a crime and find the criminal responsible. Police departments use several methods to investigate crime scenes. Forensics accompany police to help in a range of investigations. Evidence is discussed for usefulness. Limited access to a crime scene and protective clothing is required to avoid contamination. It recovers scientific evidence for a case.
give a brief description and explanation for DNA forensics
DNA forensics is a branch of forensic science which focuses on the use of genetic material in criminal investigation
give a brief description and explanation for Computer Forensics
Computer forensics (also known as computer forensic science) is a branch of digital forensic science pertaining to evidence found in computers and digital storage media. The goal of computer forensics is to examine digital media in a forensically sound manner with the aim of identifying, preserving, recovering, analysing and presenting facts and opinions about the digital information.
what happened in the case of Colin Pitchfork involving the use of DNA
Colin Pitchfork was the first person to be convicted of murder and rape based on DNA fingerprinting evidence and the first to be caught as a result of mass DNA screening.
how does research carried out at the body farm help a SOCO and the criminal investiagtion
It helps investigations involving fires you can see how a body had been burnt whether it was an accident or whether accelerates had been added to the body. You can also see how the body decomposes over time in different environments and how wearing clothes effects the rate of decomposition.
What other type of criminal investigation team members would the research at the Body Farm help?
Murders where victims are buried in the garden as they are developing technology where you can scan the ground looking for bodies that have been buried and concreted. The body farm also helps people train sniffer dogs.