Forensics: Then & Now
Imagine that you're a suspected murderer hundreds of years ago. The law has captured you and they think you're guilty. The thing is, you're innocent. But that's not the least of your problems - the law's methods of determining your guilt are far worse. If you're lucky, the law will torture you until you are forced to submit a confession. Otherwise, you'd be thrown into a pond and if you sunk, you're guilty. Or you'd be dragged to the side of the victim and if the corpse's wounds bled, you'd be proclaimed guilty.
Thank goodness for modern forensic science, huh?
While "criminalistics" is often used to describe "forensic science", it's only a part of the overall forensic field. Criminalistics involves the recognition, collection, identification, individualization and evaluation of physical evidence using the techniques of natural science in matters of legal significance. It includes the reconstruction of events based on the analysis of physical evidence and the interpretation of crime scene patterns.
Forensic Medicine applies pathology, a branch of medicine, to the investigation of deaths. Laws require the investigation of unexpected and/or unattended deaths to be overseen by either a coroner or a medical examiner. Medical examiners are forensic pathologists who, through autopsy, toxicological analysis and other kinds of investigation determine the cause and manner of a death. In some countries, forensic medicine also includes examinations to establish the manner and cause of injuries received as the result of accidents or violent crime.
There are many sub-specialties in forensic
science fields. Following are some of the areas of specialty:
Click on one of the specialities below to learn more:
Questioned Document Examination
Crime Scene Investigation
Crime Scene Reconstruction
Computer Crimes & Electronic Evidence