For this week’s assignment, you will step out of the crime scene and into the forensics laboratory for a look at some known issues and criticisms in forensic laboratory testing as well as in credentialing someone to be classified as an “expert” forensic examiner. It is beneficial to understand what happens with the evidence collected at the crime scene once it goes to the laboratory. Your research for this paper may cause you to question the reliability and validity of commonly relied upon forensic evidence in criminal trials. However, your job as a scholar (and criminal investigator) is to evaluate objectively what you are learning and arrive at a conclusion that is based on information from credible sources.
First, watch the Frontline documentary The Real CSI (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/real-csi/) and then discuss the following in your paper using the National Academy of Sciences 2009 report (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/228091.pdf)(Chapters 2, 4, and 5) as a credible resource to support your assertions:
Summarize the Brandon Mayfield case, focusing on the idea that no two fingerprints are alike despite the fact that this has never been tested. Identify what type of testing would need to be done to ensure that the assertion that “no two fingerprints are alike” is true? Examine whether or not this type of testing is feasible and why or why not.
Analyze what role cognitive bias might play in influencing the forensic lab results of tests in areas such as fingerprint identification, firearms identification, bite mark identification, or the “smell of death” technique described in the Frontline film.
There is much criticism that techniques used in fingerprint identification and other types of forensic identification described in the NAS report (Chapter 5) are inherently unscientific because there have been no validation studies. Without validation studies that establish known error rates, these methods cannot be said to be scientifically sound. Recommend whether or not to use commonly accepted scientific techniques that have not been scientifically validated and supports these recommendations with research materials.
Suggest at least one intervention to overcome the effects of cognitive bias that may influence a forensic examiner’s identification decision.
Analyze the type of training and credentials forensic examiners should have in order to work in a forensics lab. Provide recommendations for training and credentialing forensic examiners to ensure that they are adequately trained.
Please include, in APA style, at least three credible and/or scholarly resources sources in including the NAS report and your textbook.
Must document all sources in APA style
Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style