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is to present first-hand knowledge of facts to the jury for its consideration. The investigator must thus inform the jury of those matters that were investigated pertaining to the case. This information must be presented in a manner that will enable the jury to understand the sequence of events and their significance, but may not include personally drawn conclusions.
is the essence of the rules of evidence that protect the trier of fact from hearing or seeing improper evidence that may be unreliable or untrustworthy and that may prejudice the case unjustifiably against the defendant.
is a determination as to whether witnesses are legally permitted to testify about information they possess. By law, certain individuals may not be permitted to testify because of factors such as age, physical or emotional condition, or relationship with other parties involved in the case. Can be a minor or even someone who abuses drugs
a combination of all the elements of a crime.
Latin for body of a crime.
refers to the testimony of witnesses that ties the defendant directly to the commission of the crime, such as the testimony of an eyewitness who can positively state that the defendant committed the crime.
Having the witness be there during the crime
or physical evidence is connected with the commission of the crime and can be produced in court.
Examples: murder weapon, glove, fingerprints, DNA
or illustrative evidence refers to maps, diagrams, sketches, photographs, tape recordings, videotapes, X-rays, and visual tests and demonstrations produced to assist witnesses in explaining their testimony.
Illustrative Evidence: representation of an object
commands the individual to bring certain records or documents in his or her possession.
Latin for bring documents- like a doctor
with evidence rests on both the prosecution and the defense to present the evidence that will carry the greatest weight with the jury. From the defense point of view, the burden of going forward with evidence is the requirement that the defendant present such evidence that will create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury of the defendant’s guilt.
Prosecution needs to convince the jury there is guilt
Defendant needs to create doubt in the mind of the jury
is an evidentiary shortcut and is designed to keep the jury from hearing evidence unrelated or unimportant to its decision-making function. Thus, judicial notice is designed to speed up the trial and eliminate the necessity of formally proving the truth of a particular matter when that truth is not in dispute. Judicial notice is proof without evidence; matters that are ascertainable as true by reference to common authoritative sources.
12 inches in a foot, Monday comes after Sunday, etc
By the process of deductive reasoning, inferences are logically drawn from a series of known facts and a conclusion is reached. Best be illustrated by analogizing it to a chain in which each piece of circumstantial evidence constitutes a link. Each link could be an unfortunate coincidence, but the greater the number of links, the greater likelihood that jurors will disbelieve that so many unfortunate coincidences could occur, and the more likely they are to infer guilt by joining links into a chain
prohibits testimony from being given in court that repeats what the witness heard others say w/o knowing the truth of the out-of-court assertion. Necessary to keep information that cannot have its reliability or trustworthiness tested in court from being used for or against a defendant. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to be confronted by witnesses against him or her and the right to cross-examine those witnesses.
Prevents any kind of he said she said.
are not punishable by any term of incarceration, but are instead typically punished by a fine not to exceed $250. In Kentucky, illustratively, the charge “criminal littering” is a violation.
1. To establish that, in fact, a crime was committed;
2. To identify and apprehend the suspect;
3. To recover stolen property; and
4. To assist the state in prosecuting the party charged with the offense.
The successful investigator will have certain essential qualities. They are:
2. Knowledge of and use of legally accepted methods;
3. Patience and thoroughness;
4. Objectivity and freedom from preconceived notions;
5. Ethical standards of conduct;
6. Keen decision-making capabilities;
7. Sensitivity and compassion; and openness to learning from others,
begins with the formulation of an explanation of the crime which is then tested against the available information.
1. When needed, medical services should immediately be requested; 2. Determination of whether an offense was committed and its specific type;
3. Protection of the crime scene;
4. Separation of witnesses, gathering of verbal statement, and placement of pick-up orders;
5. Case documentation and evidence gathering;
6. Preparation of offense report and crime scene sketch; and
7. Placement of supplemental pick-up orders.
1.Reading the offense report to become familiar w/ it; 2.look all evidence seized in relation to the offense; 3.Effecting liaison w/ officer initiating the report; 4.Evaluating the legal sign. of statements, evidence, & lab findings; 5.Employing specialize techniques; physical/electronic surveillance & polygraph exams; 6.Identifying, locating, & arresting suspects; 7.Conduct an in-custody interrogation in conformity with legal reqs; 8.Recovering stolen property; and 9.Effecting a liaison w/ the pros. attorney.
rest on the knowledge that regardless of what outcome prevails, the case was vigorously pursued and all avenues leading to clearance covered.
Field notes are important for two reasons:
1. They represent the basic source of information that will be drawn upon in writing the offense report, and
2. they are often of assistance when the officer testifies in court.
Two indispensable elements of an effective report are:
1. Communication of that which was intended, and
A supplemental report is required to:
1. document new or corrected information;
2. document specific acts or accomplishments, such as the issuance of a warrant, arrest of a suspect, or the recovery of property;
3. unfound an offense;
4. exceptionally clear an offense; and
5. inactivate a case.
the police have established the identity of the perpetrator, but due to circumstances beyond their control cannot pursue the case further.
may determine whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor. For articles subject to depreciation, the fair market value should be used, unless the property is new or almost new. On goods stolen from a retail store, the merchant’s wholesale cost should be used. Nonnegotiable instruments such as traveler’s checks or money orders should be the cost of replacing them; negotiable instruments, including bonds payable to the bearer, are valued at the market price at the time of the theft.
There are three major functions to be executed at the scene of an offense:
1. Coordination (overall management of the scene)
2. Technical services (processing the scene for physical evidence)
3. Investigative services (interview, interrogation, canvas, etc)
that every available piece of evidence must be obtained and where there is questions as to whether a particular item constitutes evidence, it should be defined as such. Also included in this rule is that standard samples and elimination prints always be obtained whenever appropriate.
There are three types of evidence:
1. Corpus delicti evidence, an example of which would be the distinct set of elements necessary to prove the crime of burglary.
2. Associative evidence, such as the possession of a robbery victim’s wallet by the suspect; and
3. Tracing evidence, an example of which would be where the perpetrator used his own car in an offense and its license plate number was taken down by a witness.
The purposes of a crime scene search are to:
1. Obtain physical evidence,
2. Identify the method of operation employed by the perpetrator,
3. Reduce the number of suspects, and
4. Identify the perpetrator.
The five considerations dominating a crime scene search are:
1. Boundary determination,
2. Choice of search patterns,
3. Instruction of personnel,
4. Coordination, and
5. Termination of the search.
Five crime scene patterns are:
3. Grid (the most methodical and thorough)
4. Pie or wheel
one drawn by the investigator at the scene of the crime. Ordinarily it is not drawn to scale but indicates accurate distances and dimensions.
This technique involves measuring the distance of an object from 2 fixed points. The baseline may be drawn as the mathematical center of a room.
1. Rewind the tape
2. Remove the tape from the recorder
3. Initial, date, and preserve the tape in the same manner as other types of physical evidence
4. Punch out the tab to prevent re-recording on the tape
5. Store the tape in a dust free environment, free from machinery-producing magnetic fields
6. If the original tape is to be viewed more than one to two times, make a copy to use for that purpose
Two software programs that can be used to make crime scene drawings:
1. Compuscene, which is more specifically intended for crime scene sketching, and
2. Autosketch, which is a general drafting program.
blood, tissue, urine, feces and a host of other biological specimens. It has also been recovered from fingerprints, cigarette butts, and drinking cups. There are two places in a cell where DNA is found. Nuclear DNA is found in the nucleus, and mitochondrial DNA is found in the body of the cell. Nuclear DNA is a product of the person’s mother and father, conversely mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother.
CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). CODIS is used in the national, state, and local index-system networks to link typing results from unresolved crimes with cases in multiple jurisdictions or persons convicted of offenses specified in the data-banking laws passed by the jurisdictions.
About 12 ounces of water and two pounds of dental stone are needed to make a 2-inch thick cast of a shoe impression. Add 9 to 10 ounces of water to the two pounds of dental stone and massage thoroughly. A zip-lock bag is a convenient container for this step. Water should be added in very small amounts until the mixture approximates the consistency of pancake batter.
can also be used to cast prints in snow, replacing the more cumbersome method of using sulfur, which must be heated.
Impressions in the snow should, like all impressions, first be photographed. Then the red-colored Snow Print Wax is sprayed into the impression until it is lightly tinted and it is re-photographed. It may be necessary to spray the impression by the dental stone casting process. To counter this heat use cold water or snow to prepare the dental stone and use a consistency thinner than pancake batter. A box should be placed over the cast for at least one hour until it dries.
There are three broad categories of latent fingerprints:
1. Plastic prints, created when the fingers touch against some material such as putty;
2. Contaminated/visible prints, which are formed when the fingers contaminated with such things as ink or blood touch a clean surface;
3. Latent/invisible prints, which are left on a surface from the small amounts of body oil and perspiration that are normally found on friction ridges.
be used to photograph a latent print on the curved surface of an item such as a cartridge case.
the diameter of the bullet intended for use in the weapon. Generally, a bullet is somewhat larger than the diameter of the bore, but it is possible to fire a smaller caliber bullet through a larger bored weapon.
that body materials produce a substance that makes it possible to identify their blood group. Evidence falling into this category includes saliva, urine, semen, perspiration, vaginal secretions, feces, and vomitus.
To gain a hand writing sample from a suspect you should dictate the entire message to the person and have them write it at least ____ times.
must be skilled in many of the arts and sciences, with an ability to utilize the techniques of psychology, the skill of salesmanship, and versatility of an actor. Persuasiveness and perseverance are essential characteristics. The interviewer must be empathetic, sympathetic, objective, and be able to establish an immediate rapport with those from whom information is sought. To be successful, the interviewer must have an insatiable curiosity.
Questions should always be phrased using a positive tone. An interview consists of a beginning, a middle, and an end.
designed to allow the investigator to gather information without suggesting answer, but rather to enable the interviewer to picture the occurrence with the same degree of clarity and in the same chronology as the witness perceived the event.
accomplished on a friendly note with the investigator offering a short discourse of appreciation and thank you for the witness’s time and effort to cooperate with the police in the investigation.
The cognitive interview technique is a method of jogging the memory of an eyewitness by encouraging the free flow of thoughts and looking at the event from different perspectives. The four basic techniques used to accomplish these objectives include:
1. Asking the witness to think about the general circumstances surrounding the incident.
2. Report anything, no matter how minor or unimportant it may appear.
3. Recall events in a different order.
4. Change perspectives by looking at the event from the standpoint of a third person.
1. the right to remain silent.
2. the right to be told that anything said can and will be used against them in court.
3. the right to consult with an attorney prior to answering any questions and the right to have an attorney present during the interrogation; and
4. if the suspect cannot afford to pay for an attorney, the court will appoint one.
to gain psychological relief by “getting it off their chest” or they confess falsely to a crime they have not committed acting under some urge to confess.
one that can accomplish the four objectives of obtaining facts, eliminating the innocent, identifying the guilty, and obtaining a confession. To accomplish these objectives, the interrogator must know everything others know and as much as can be learned about the offense, the victim and the suspect by collecting, assessing, and analyzing data and by theorizing about motivations and thought processes of the suspect.
appeals to the suspect’s sense of humor, morals, and family pride. This approach tends to work better with first time offenders.
sweating, change of skin color, and dry mouth.
Note taking, recording, and/or obtaining a written statement are the three primary methods used. The form in which a statement will carry the most weight with a jury is an audio-visual recording of a confession or admission given by the suspect.
whether the confession or admission was obtained voluntarily.
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