1. Explain the relationship between attorneys and the forensic scientist. Forensic scientists perform two primary roles.
One is to analyze and compare evidence obtained from victims, suspects, objects, and locations. The other role of a forensic scientist is to provide expert testimony in a court of law, testifying either for the prosecution or the defense. Criminal lawyers on the other hand, represent their clients before the courts involving crimes. Both prosecuting and defense attorneys are responsible for preparing their cases before and during the trial. Mainly, lawyers interpret the law and apply it to specific situations. The major investigation lawyers do is researching rules, regulations, and previous cases. Criminal lawyers must also examine evidence and witnesses to support the lawyer’s argument. However, forensic scientists and criminal lawyers do play a hand in hand role. Forensic scientists obtain the evidence to be analyzed from crime scene investigators or police. Criminal lawyers use that analyzed information to prove the defendant is guilty or to disprove the information against the defendant.


2. Compare and contrast the roles of the forensic scientist to the police officer and the lawyer.
[Reference back to question 1] Police officers play a major role in the everyday world by enforcing laws in our society. When incidents do happen police are normally the first at the location using their own judgment to quickly take control of the situation. The primary concern of any police officer is safety. Forensic scientists, attorneys, and police officers play a chain reaction role. When criminal activity has occurred police officers begin an investigation to find out exactly what happened. This includes: talking to witnesses, seeking for evidence, retaining weapons, securing suspicious items or vital clues. Linking the next step to forensic scientists to study, analyze, and interpret the evidence and information collected. This then links the attorney to finalize everything by proving or disproving evidence in court to support the attorney’s argument.


3. Identify multiple problems a forensic scientist may experience related to testifying in court.
Court systems have grappled with the issue of whether the testimony of forensic scientist experts was a valid form of evidence. The problem was that modern science moves at a brisker pace than the judicial system. As new scientific techniques, connected with forensics, emerged the courts often had no guide on which to accept or reject the information argued in court by a forensics expert. The United States Supreme Court has decided very few cases that directly answer on the admissibility of a forensic expert’s testimony. Rather than addressing the issue of validity of any forensic scientist in particular, the Supreme Court has limited itself to establishing any rules for forensic testimonies; this then leads to problems in court. With no set ground rules or guide by the Supreme Court rulings about accepting and denying forensic testimonies may go either way. Many judges deny forensic scientist to testify as an expert witness based off the mirror fact that many do not believe it can relate to certain incidents or crimes, or that the scientist has not worked in the area of which it is testifying for long enough to be an expert witness.


4. Describe the forensic scientist’s role as an expert witness. Forensic scientists labeled as an expert witness are expected to be accurate and precise so that crimes can be solved and criminals charged for the crimes they have committed. The life of a forensic science expert is one that has come through the college and even doctoral studies are a must when you expect to reach expert level. Most importantly they have to gain a lot of experience by working with experts already in the field and assisting their research work. Expert witnesses are responsible for analyzing evidence collected at crime scenes and providing an expert testimony related to the evidence during trials. While some forensic scientists do go out in the field to collect evidence, this is a job that is usually done by forensic technicians or crime scene investigative technicians. Forensic scientists work closely with police and other law enforcement and investigative agencies in order to determine how and why a criminal act was perpetrated and to find the guilty person. When testifying in court, as a forensic science expert, you must know your facts and be absolutely confident about them; otherwise you risk falling to pieces under the grueling cross examination of defense attorneys, which means that the whole case of the prosecution bites the dust. A good forensic science expert is able to read much more into the workings of a crime than just what the evidence seems to show. Forensic science experts know that it is their job to provide all the evidence that is available and then let the jurors and the judge make their decision.


5. Explain the role of the crime lab in a criminal investigation
The crime lab in a criminal investigation is responsible for receiving, analyzing, interpreting, storing, transferring and releasing all evidence submitted by investigative agencies in the state. However, the primary goal of the crime lab is the safeguard of all evidence in the custody of the lab and maintaining an accurate chain of custody for each item of evidence. Many forensic scientists who operate in the crime lab are categorized in different fields such as: ballistics, chemical and physical analysis, documents, fingerprint, and instruments technicians. Each forensic scientist specializes in a category to detect implements more officially. However, a forensic scientist can specialize in more than one field.

6. Discuss the CSI Effect and the resulting problems which may arise during criminal prosecution. The CSI effect is the result from people watching CSI and other scientific evidence shows which make people want to go to crime scenes, collect evidence, analyze it, and testify in court. However, the CSI is not completely accurate to the real world of forensic investigations. Television is based off what people want to see and not exactly what the actually truth is. No one ever watches CSI and to see the immense amount of documentation that has to be done in the field. Stretching the truth happens often in television too; for example, fingerprinting on CSI a computer automatically matches fingerprints to those in the database and shows a match in a matter of minutes; however, in real life scientists must perform such detailed work and takes at least a week for results. Nor do real-life forensic scientists mainly focus on one case, they normally are much too busy to center focus on one case. There are always errors however, people watching the CSI show on television do not always notice this factor based off the mirror fact that they do not study the field to know what actually goes on. Through the years, people have often wondered if there is a possible “CSI Effect” on juries in criminal cases. Many are concerned with the fact that jurors will assume that prosecutions should play out like CSI, that evidence will clearly point to guilty or innocent and trials will be fast and exciting. Many believe that if the evidence does not meet up to the jurors imagination of television forensic evidence that jurors could hold it against prosecutors or defendants and make verdicts not supported by real-life evidence from the cases.