In recent years, new forensic methods have revolutionized crime scene investigations so that a single piece of evidence can often determine an individual’s guilt or innocence. Tests involving fingerprinting, polygraphs, ballistics, toxicology, voice analysis, DNA typing, and other techniques can be combined or used independently to provide information about a crime. While some procedures produce results that are highly valid and reliable, others yield conclusions that may be uncertain or legally useless.
DNA Evidence and Forensic Science explores the history of this fascinating topic and the opinions surrounding it, from the early use of fingerprinting to identify civil servants to the latest advances in DNA typing in criminal investigations. Documents such as the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 and contemporary case studies such as Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals provide multiple perspectives and decisions surrounding this important issue. This invaluable volume features a comprehensive and up-to-date overview essay, capsule biographies, a large annotated bibliography, a chronology of significant events, organization and agency listings, and a glossary to help readers explore the controversy surrounding the issue of DNA evidence and forensic science.
- The type of forensic evidence that should be permitted during legal proceedings
- Whether or not law enforcement should collect DNA samples from suspects during criminal investigations
- Whether or not the federal government should create a national ballistics database
- and more.
Index. Appendixes. Bibliography. Glossary. Chronology.
About the Author(s)
David E. Newton holds an associate’s degree in science from Grand Rapids Junior College, a B.A. in chemistry (with high distinction), an M.A. in education from the University of Michigan, and an Ed.D. in science education from Harvard University. He is the author of more than 400 textbooks, encyclopedias, resource books, research manuals, laboratory manuals, trade books, and other educational materials. For Facts On File, he has written Nuclear Power and Stem Cell Research in the Library in a Book series; Latinos in Science, Math, and Professions in the A to Z of Latino Americans set; and the six volumes in The New Chemistry set. Newton taught mathematics and physical sciences in Grand Rapids, Michigan; was a professor of chemistry and physics at Salem State College in Massachusetts; and was an adjunct professor in the College of Professional Studies at the University of San Francisco.