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Most forensic investigation projects include a scope to determine the cause of some damage or condition. Project scopes often request determining the cause and origin of the damage. Since insurance policies contain descriptions of covered and non-covered situations, clearly specifying causes and origins is crucial for clients' coverage decisions. This article discusses the differences between and significance of these two important terms.
Whether it is helping us formulate our opinion or confirming an initial diagnosis, technology plays a valuable role in forensic engineering work. Following are a few examples of existing technology available to Donan's project managers. Though not standard issue, these tools are utilized when necessary to accurately determine or confirm a cause of loss.
Forensic psychological evaluations have become a valuable resource for the criminal justice system by addressing important forensic questions. For instance, assessing risk for violence can help courts make appropriate decisions on issues such as sentencing, granting privileges, and community reintegration. If an individual is assessed to be a high risk for future violence, a judge has grounds to order a more restrictive setting compared to someone who is a lower risk for recidivism. By tailoring court decisions based on accurate psychological evaluations, the community is safer while the defendant's rights are also protected.
As technology advances by leaps and bounds, digital devices are now an integral part of our lives. Every day we use cell phones, laptops, iPads, iPods, GPS systems -- the list is endless.
Most of us are familiar with the recent report from the National Academy of Sciences regarding the current state of forensic science. The section of the 254-page report that addresses the forensic discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis comprises fewer than two pages, yet succeeds, I believe, in making some astute points.
I was recently retained on a civil case just a month before the trial date. When called about the case, I was told that the firm never thought of hiring a forensic photographer until one showed up in opposing counsel’s expert list. In this case, I needed to photograph the scene of an accident to depict what could be seen from a specific perspective, at a specific time of day, under specific lighting conditions.
On a recent case opposing counsel hired a forensic photographer. The case involved an accident at night in which visibility was a key factor.
The forensic science of voice identification has come a long way from when it was first introduced in the American courts back in the mid 1960's.
Audio tapes, Video Tapes, Voice Identification, Enhancement and Authenticity Issues related to the admissibility of recorded media must pass certain legal criteria before it can be presented as evidence in a court of law.