Forensic Science and the Administration of Justice: Critical Issues and Directions

Forensic Science and the Administration of Justice: Critical Issues and Directions

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Edited by Kevin Strom, Edited by Matthew Hickman

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  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 175mm x 251mm x 18mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 12 June 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Thousand Oaks
  • ISBN 10: 1452276889
  • ISBN 13: 9781452276885
  • Illustrations note: black & white line drawings, black & white tables, figures
  • Sales rank: 199,926

Product description

One of the central themes of the book is that social science research can inform us about the utility of forensic science with respect to both the criminal investigative and adjudicative processes. A second theme of the book concerns questions about the scientific underpinnings of forensic services, including the accuracy and scientific methods of certain forensic disciplines as well as the influence of externalities. A final theme explores the role of the crime laboratory in the American justice system and how it is evolving, in concert with technological advancements as well as changing demands and competing pressures for laboratory resources.

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Author information

Kevin J. Strom, Ph.D., directs the Policing, Security, and Investigative Science Program at RTI International. His research activity is focused on the impact of forensic science on the criminal justice system, law enforcement responses to community violence and terrorism, and crime- and forensic data-reporting systems. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals that include Criminology & Public Policy, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, and Crime & Delinquency. Dr. Strom has led numerous law enforcement- and forensic-related studies, including projects that have developed recommendations for increasing efficiency in forensic evidence processing. This research has included assessing how forensic evidence is collected, processed, used, and retained across law enforcement, crime laboratories, and prosecutors' offices. Dr. Strom has been an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Research Advisory Committee since 2009. Before joining RTI, he was employed by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics. He received his Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Matthew J. Hickman, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Seattle University. His research interests include issues in policing, quantitative research methodology, and the impact of forensic sciences on the administration of justice. He was previously a statistician at the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, where he specialized in the development and analysis of national data collections on law enforcement and the forensic sciences. His work has been published in Criminology, Criminology & Public Policy, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Crime & Delinquency, Police Quarterly, and Policing. He co-edited a volume titled Police Integrity and Ethics and has contributed book chapters to Race, Ethnicity and Policing: New and Essential Readings, Encyclopedia of Police Science, and The Oxford Handbook on Police and Policing. Dr. Hickman is a member of the American Society of Criminology, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the International Association of Crime Analysts.

Table of contents

Preface Acknowledgments Section I. The Demand for Forensic Services Chapter 1. A Historical Review of the Demand for Forensic Evidence - Joseph L. Peterson Introduction Estimating the Demand for Forensic Evidence What Is Physical Evidence and What Can It Tell Us? Physical Evidence Presence--Historical Indicators Macro Forces Influencing Utilization Patterns Crime Laboratory Census Results Up-to-Date Utilization Patterns From the "Role and Impact" Study Conclusion References Chapter 2. Is There Evidence of a "CSI Effect"? - Rachel Dioso-Villa Introduction CSI's Depictions of Forensic Science Cultivation Theory Typology of CSI Effects Found in Media Accounts Evidence of the CSI Effect The Perceived CSI Effect Juror Expectations and Their Understanding of Forensic Science What Can Be Done? Conclusion References Chapter 3. What We Know (and Don't Know) About Evidence Backlogs - Matthew J. Hickman and Kevin J. Strom Introduction What Is a "Backlog"? What Are the Sources of Backlog? What Do We "Know" About the Nature and Scope of Forensic Backlog? The Problem of Artificial Backlog Do Backlogs Represent Justice Delayed and Justice Denied, or Simply Justice "Satisficed"? References Section II. The Quality of Forensic Services Chapter 4. Adopting a Research Culture in the Forensic Sciences - Barry A. J. Fisher Introduction Why a Research Culture Does Not Currently Exist in the Forensic Sciences Recent Developments in the Forensic Sciences Factors Affecting the Admissibility of Forensic Science Contemporary Challenges Facing Forensic Science References Chapter 5. Minimizing Contextual Bias in Forensic Casework - Reinoud D. Stoel, Charles E. H. Berger, Wim Kerkhoff, Erwin J. A. T. Mattijssen, and Itiel E. Dror Introduction Historical Background Psychological Background Levels of Contextual Information How to Deal With Contextual Information Outlook and Conclusion References Chapter 6. A Survey of Ethical Issues in the Forensic Sciences - Jay Siegel Introduction Discussion of Ethical Issues Toward a National Code of Ethics in Forensic Science Section III. The Utility of Forensic Services Chapter 7. The Impact of Forensic Evidence on Criminal Justice: Evidence From Case-Processing Studies - Sally Kelty, Roberta Julian, and Robert Hayes Introduction The Impact of Forensic Evidence (FE) on Solvability and Case-Processing Outcomes: Evidence From the Literature Conceptual Framework and Case-Processing Model of Critical Decisions and Leakage Points in Homicide Cases: Findings From the Effectiveness of Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System (EFS) Project Conclusion Cases References Chapter 8. Assessing the Utility of DNA Evidence in Criminal Investigations - Michael D. White, Andrea R. Borrego, and David A. Schroeder Introduction Empirical Evidence on the Utility of DNA Evidence in Criminal Investigations Explanatory Frameworks for Understanding Law Enforcement's Use of DNA Evidence Conclusion References Chapter 9. Forensic Science: The Prosecutor's Role - Nina W. Chernoff Introduction The Rules That Govern Prosecutors' Use of Forensic Evidence Why the Rules Do Not Produce Prosecutors Who Are Honest About the Reliability of Forensic Evidence The Need for Accuracy Advocates Conclusion Notes Section IV. Post-Conviction Issues Chapter 10. The Problems and Challenges of Evidence Retention - John M. Collins Jr. Introduction Personnel Safe and Secure Facilities Inventory and Disposition Forensic Testing Jurisdictional Case Management Conclusion References Chapter 11. Innovation, Success, Error, and Confidence in Forensic DNA Testing - Kristen Skogerboe Introduction History of DNA and Its Application in Criminal Justice The Role of DNA in Highlighting Limitations in Other Forensic Disciplines The Intersection of Success, Innovation, and Risk of Error in DNA Testing The Road to Testing and Exonerations: DNA From a Chemist's Perspective Innovation, Challenges, and Emerging Issues in Forensic DNA Testing Achieving and Maintaining Confidence With a Research Mentality and Quality Assurance References Section V. The Future Role of Forensic Science in the Administration of Justice Chapter 12. Developing New Business Models for Forensic Laboratories - Max M. Houck and Paul J. Speaker Introduction Economic Foundations Metrics and Measurement A Balanced View Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness Identifying the Best Business Models for Forensic Laboratories Conclusion References Chapter 13. Rethinking the Role of the Crime Laboratory in Criminal Justice Decision Making - Kevin J. Strom and Matthew J. Hickman Introduction The Changing Role of the Crime Laboratory Laboratory Decision Making Promising Examples of Crime Laboratory Decision-Making Policies Conclusion References Chapter 14. The Future of Forensic Science - Walter F. Rowe Introduction Technological Developments Administrative Changes in Forensic Science Forensic Science Education Conclusion References Index About the Editors About the Contributors