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ONPS2169 Significance of Forensic Science Report: UGRD Assessment Answer

Forensic Court Report - UGRD

Assessment name: Forensic Court Report - UGRD

Course code:  ONPS2169

Assessment Summary:

This is the assignment page for your final written submission - the Forensic Court Report. This assignment will be worth 30% of your final grade and will test your knowledge of forensic studies in the context of the courtroom, including bias and ethical considerations. Your submission should be submitted through Canvas and must be 1200 words (+/- 10%). Read the below assignment briefing and instructions carefully before beginning your assignment. You will find readings for the assignment throughout Module 3 - The Courtroom, and you will need to read on the question further.

About the Assignment

  • You are asked to produce a report for the legal team defending the accused, Mr. McGee. Ensure you read through The Incident Update below before starting your assignment.
  • Your report should detail three specific stages of the '123 Fake Street' Investigation in which bias could have been introduced, and how these might affect the partiality of the prosecution's forensic team (including examiners at the scene, forensic and laboratory professionals).
  • These "stages" of the investigation may include (not an exhaustive list) specific actions, procedures, instructions, lines of questioning (and so on) at any stage of the investigation from the time of first response to delivery of expert testimony in the courtroom.
  • In your report, you should address your reasoning for choosing these specific stages of the investigation, how bias could have been introduced, and the way this could affect the partiality of the prosecution.
  • In your report you should address the necessity of maintaining impartiality at each stage you have chosen of the investigation.
  • Your report should include what you would expect to see from the prosecution to demonstrate how they could have avoided being partial in the specific areas/stages you have chosen.
  • Your report must be supported by academic sources and relevant literature.
  • Your report should be logically constructed with introduction, discussion and conclusion sections.
  • You must submit your assignment by 14th February 2020 at 23:59. 

RMIT Electronic Submission of work for assessment

I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration.

Feedback and grades

Feedback on your assignment and your grade will be released via the Grades item on the left menu approximately 14 days after you submit it.

Referencing

You will be expected to use the Harvard style of referencing for all of the reports in Forensic Studies, including in-text citations and a reference list at the end of your reports. In-text citations will count toward your word count, whilst the reference list will not. Guidance on referencing can be found here and using the RMIT Easy Cite tool here. 

The Incident Update

  • It is several weeks since the incident on the evening of 30th October at 123 Fake Street. 
  • Mr. McGee, the owner of 123 Fake Street, is being charged accused of the murder of E. Shermer, his former girlfriend. 
  • Your new role is as part of the forensic science team advising the legal team defending Mr. McGee. 
  • You have been consulted to advise them on possible avenues of bias-introduction and partiality in the procedures conducted by the prosecution's team. They want to know if the forensic team working for the prosecution have been unfair in their investigation.  
  • The legal team you are working for have advised you that the following forensic evidence (at least) will be included in the prosecution's case: 
    • Fingerprint comparisons
    • DNA evidence
    • Bloodstain-pattern analysis
    • Witness testimony from the neighbour, Mr. A. Lias.
  • The defending legal team have asked you to identify three areas in which bias or partiality could have been demonstrated by the prosecution for them to build their case. 

Answer

Legal law 

Introduction:

This report depicts the significance of forensic science report in any criminal case. However there are several investigation conducted by the examiners to resolve the criminal cases but the forensic science investigation is considered as an important measure in the proceeding of a case related to crime. The report consist several stages of investigation through which the case related to any crime can be resolved. Also it consist the chances and stages where the biasness in the investigation can be made by the examiners and investigators. The forensic investigation is usually performed on the forensic and digital evidences such as mobile, laptop, bloodstains, fingerprints and residue. In the further part of report significant discussion about the forensic science report and conclusion has also been given in context of the provided case law. 

Discussion:

In the given case law McGee was charged with the accusation of murder of his former girlfriend E. Shermer and at the location of crime several evidences were gathered by the investigators. The collected evidences include the bloodstains at knife and other places in the living room and kitchen sink, fingerprints at the air tickets and other equipment and mobile phone found on the crime location. For the proper and relevant assessment of these evidences, the evidences shall be evaluated under the forensic investigation. Such investigation will be performed by the forensic experts and professionals in the laboratory. The entire case of crime involves following stages of investigation which begins from the crime scene investigation and ends to the final outcome of investigation (Lillis, Becker, O'Sullivan, & Scanlon, 2016).

Investigation of crime scene:

Specific action- While making the investigation of crime scene, the investigators found that the apartment under which the crime has been conducted was disorganized and all the household appliances were not situated on their place. Also there were several bloodstains found on the floor of living room and near the kitchen sink. Apart from that the investigator found a knife with bloodstains and air tickets with the fingerprints. Also they collected a mobile phone from the location of crime. 

Bias introduction- At this investigation stage, the bias behavior can be made by the investigators who held the investigation of crime location. They could manipulate the facts and evidences found on the crime scene and can present them in the interest of any favorable party. This stage involves collection of facts and evidences, their identification, analysis. With the numerous steps in the investigation, the chances to have biasness also enhanced (Riadi, 2017)

Lines of questioning- After having an investigation of crime location and collection of evidences and facts, several question are occurred on the basis of them which could be put before the parties. For instance the disorganized apartment and bloodstains found on the floor of room are answerable from the side of parties. Hence the investigators can raise the questions in context of collected facts and evidences. 

Delivery of the expert testimony- The conclusive outcome of the investigation can be ascertained with the final statement made by the investigators and examiners involved in the investigation process. There are certain ethics and principle prescribed under the code of ethics of professionals and experts and they are bound to perform around this. Hence the opinion or statement made by the investigator or examiners shall be taken as fair and true for the further stages of investigation (Du, Le-Khac, & Scanlon, 2017)

Forensic science Investigation:

Specific action – The investigators collected several evidences from the location of crime such as fingerprints, bloodstains, mobile phone and other relevant facts. To identify the suspect and other parties, these evidences are needed to be analyzed under the forensic science. Hence such evidences will be evaluated by the forensic science experts and professionals. 

Bias introduction- All the evidences collected from the location of crime are required to be evaluated by the forensic experts or examiners. Hence the DNA analysis of bloodstains and fingerprints shall be made by the forensic experts and the digital forensic evaluation of collected mobile phone shall also be conducted. At this stage of investigation the experts can perform in the interest of prosecution or defendant party which will lead to the biasness  

Lines of questioning- At this stage of investigation, the queries can be raised on the basis of forensic analysis of evidences and facts. The DNA analysis of bloodstains and fingerprints could lead to number of questions which could be asked from the parties. Similarly the assessment of mobile phone can reveal the history and other details regarding the use of mobile and various questions can be asked from the parties (Hussain, Kanakam, & Chakravarthy, 2017). 

Delivery of the expert testimony- The experts and professionals who carries the investigation of collected evidences are deemed to be performing under the professional ethics of their field. The opinion or testimony provided by the experts in the report or before the Court is considered as valuable measure by the Court in any criminal proceeding. 

Final Outcome:

Specific action- In the given case law the forensic science report shall be presented before the Court after the relevant analysis and investigations. The report will show the DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis and digital analysis of mobile phone. Also the report will depict the evaluation results of the other facts and evidences which have been collected from the location of crime.  

Bias introduction- While assessing these evidences, the experts can conduct biasness which could be intentional or cognitive. If the experts or professionals are influenced by either of the party and perform in the interest of them then it shall be considered as an intentional bias. On the other hand the cognitive bias is an impartial behavior which is performed by the forensic experts on the basis of their own personal opinions and assumptions. Hence in the given case law, the expert can perform any kind of biasness which could lead to the unfavorable circumstances for the defendant (Becker, & Dutelle, 2018). 

Lines of questioning- On the basis of forensic report and expert’s opinion, the questions shall be designed which could help to find of motive behind the crime. The relevant questions will be asked to the defendant as well as aggrieved party and all these queries must be relevant to the case. 

Delivery of expert testimony: The conclusive outcome of any assessment or investigation is the opinion or statement of relevant expert who has conducted the process. This statement or opinion has significant contribution in the final judgment of the entire proceeding (Bouchrika, 2017).  

Conclusion:

The above discussed stages of investigation shows an important procedure through which the cases of criminal nature could be resolved. However the proceeding of a criminal case begins with the crime scene location and finishes on the final judgment of Court but in between the proceeding have number of investigations and assessment which assisted the overall proceeding of a case. The forensic science investigation has a valuable contribution in the overall investigation of a criminal case as it reveals several factors which are based on the actual facts and evidences collected from the crime location. 

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