Uniting forensics, law, and social science in meaningful and relevant ways, Forensic Science and the Administration of Justice is structured around current research on how forensic evidence is being used and how it is impacting the justice system. This unique book—written by nationally known scholars in the field—includes five sections that explore the demand for forensic services, the quality of forensic services, the utility of forensic services, post-conviction forensic issues, and the future role of forensic science in the administration of justice. The authors offer policy-relevant directions for both the criminal justice and forensic fields and demonstrate how the role of the crime laboratory in the American justice system is evolving in concert with technological advances as well as changing demands and competing pressures for laboratory resources.
Chapter 1: A Historical Review of the Demand for Forensic Evidence
A Historical Review of the Demand for Forensic Evidence
There have been many significant improvements and dramatic growth of forensic crime laboratories capabilities in the past half-century. The number of facilities, size of laboratory operations, and the sensitivity and precision of scientific tests have all increased (Durose, Walsh, & Burch, 2012). The ability of forensic examiners to characterize biological evidence using DNA testing methods has been the most notable of many scientific breakthroughs; the speed and sensitivity of laboratory techniques to examine traces of DNA have improved dramatically (National Institute of Justice, 2013). Computerized databases to store DNA profiles, fingerprints, and firearms- and ammunition-related information have been established and continue to expand daily, enabling investigators to ...