Forensic Analysis of Crime Scenes including Blood Spatter
Answer ONE of the following questions:
- The National Audit Office report of 2014, entitled ‘The Home Office’s oversight of forensic services’, criticised the austerity-driven closure of the Forensic Science Service in 2012. It asserts that this put in jeopardy long-term research and development prospects, while the ‘free-market’ in forensic services fails to meet the ever-increasing needs of the UK’s justice system.
Critically analyse the notion that the UK’s emerging landscape of ‘austerity justice’ coupled with a lack of statutory powers to regulate the market could lead to a rise in the numbers of miscarriages of justice.
(2) In “Paradigms of forensic science and legal process: a critical diagnosis”, Roberts (2015) highlights weaknesses of forensic science techniques and expert witness testimony that are still apparent 25 years after the report of the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice.
Critically evaluate the issues raised for the justice system by the reliance on forensic evidence, human fallibility in interpreting evidence and numbers of successful appeals against unsafe convictions since the inception of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
(3) Critically evaluate the implications for jurors from the following statement, “forensic
tests are presented as unambiguous and always correct, never marred by contamination, laboratory error, or biased interpretation” (Cole and Dioso-Villa (2007: 450)
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