Forensic Science | What is Forensic Science? It's Principles and It's Need in Society

Forensic science is a branch of science that uses the scientific discipline and principles in order to applicate it in the crime scene investigation to

FORENSIC SCIENCE

Shubham Kumar

1/29/20245 min read

person in white long sleeve shirt holding green and white labeled can
person in white long sleeve shirt holding green and white labeled can

I am sure that you have some rough idea about the forensic science by the watching various crime thriller movies and shows. Notably, for Indians, forensic science is majorly shown in the famous TC show C.I.D. Through forensic science, the very first though comes in mind is that officers are solving crimes and catching the culprit. However, it's not the only thing that comes under forensic science. Forensic science is the fascinating realm of mysteries and here, every single evidence has its own story describing the crime. The work of forensic expert is to analyzes all the stories and conclude towards the most common and factual story or cause of crime.

In this article we going to talk about what exactly forensic science stands for and why do we need the forensic experts and officers.

Let's start by first knowing the definition of Forensic Science

In forensic science, the term 'forensic' is derived form the Latin term 'forum' which means 'to gather people seeking justice'. If defined in layman language, the term forum refers to the legal procedure in which the justice is being served on the basis of evidence.

Forensic science is a branch of science that uses the scientific discipline and principles in order to applicate it in the crime scene investigation to collect, analyze, preserve, recognize, individualize and evaluate the physical evidence present on the crime scene, or related to the crime scene, moreover, resolving the other complex issues through the application of natural scientific principles, to seek justice in administration of court.

The father of forensic science is Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, he demonstrated the practice to collect the evidence from the crime scene, through his famous fictious character 'Sherlock Holmes' during 19th-20th century. Though his famous character 'Sherlock Holmes' he popularized the practices of forensic science and scientific methods of investigation. However, the practices of collecting evidence or providing justice on basis of evidence obtained by scientific principles, do exists before the demonstration of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Canon Doyle. For example, during 17th century, Archimedes detected the fraudulence of a fake golden crown through the use of scientific principles of buoyancy and density.

Now you must be wondering about what kind of evidence does a forensic expert collect and preserve from the crime scene

In order to know about the evidence, first you should know about what does a crime scene and evidence refers to?

A crime scene is the area where the crime has been committed. Any area which holds the direct connection with the crime committed, is called crime scene. Any kind of physical or biological material present in crime scene is referred as evidence. The evidence can be digital, biological and physical. The most common evidence are physical and biological ones. For example, in a crime of murder, if the murder committed in the park, then whole park will become the crime scene. Moreover, the blood of victim in the park, the footprints (if present), hair samples, fingerprints, etc, all these are the evidence.

Now let's move to our mainstream, i,e what kind of evidence does, a forensic expert looks for? Forensic experts are subjected to collect the physical, biological and Digital evidence related to the crime committed.

Physical evidence like footprints, fingerprints, soil samples, weapons, gateway cars, clothes, fibers, glass fragments, etc.

Biological evidence like blooddrops, DNA evidence, sweat, seminal fluids, vaginal fluids, vomit, urine, saliva, etc.

Digital evidence like, phone records, call records, live location, previous locations, chat history, search history, social media status, etc.

Forensic experts are specialized to collect all this evidence, because the story enclosed within these evidence holds the potential to solve the crime and bring justice to the suffered ones. They encompass various collection techniques to collect this evidence. The collection techniques differ according to the type of evidence.

If you are thinking about the rules, guiding principles of forensic science, because more of less, forensic science is also a type of science, then it means you are reading this blog carefully!

Forensic experts don't reach to any conclusion without proper evidence, moreover, without any guidelines or principles. Each and every step taken by the forensic experts is guided by the principles of forensic science. Forensic science encompasses seven principles. These are

  1. Principle of Exchange: "Whenever two entities come in contact, mutual exchange of traces taken place." by Edmond Locard.

  2. Law of Progressive Change: "Everything changes with the passage of time"

  3. Principle of Analysis: "The analysis can be done no better than the simple analyzed"

  4. Law of Probability: "It determines that the chances of occurrence of a particular way, out of number of ways in which the event takes place of fails to take place with equal facility"

  5. Principle of Comparison: "Only likes can be compared"

  6. Likelihood Ration: "The concept of calculating the changes of occurrence of an event"

  7. Facts do Not Lie: "Facts do not lie, however, humans can lie"

All these principles are strictly followed by the forensic experts during the crime scene investigation.

If you are thinking that there is way more workload in the forensic experts to analyze all the type of evidence, then you are wrong.

Forensic science embraces many branches of applied science which serves the law. These branches are specified in their respective fields and focus on specialized tasks assigned to them.

The main branch of forensic science involves three subjects.

  • Forensic Physics

  • Forensic Biology

  • Digital Forensic

  • Forensic Chemistry

The other subjects are the derived subjects from the physics, biology and chemistry.

  • Forensic Odontology

  • Forensic Ballistics

  • Fingerprint Forensic

  • Forensic Entomology

  • Forensic Anthropology

  • Narco Analysis

  • Forensic Toxicology

  • Cyber Forensics

  • DNA Forensic

Other branches such are fingerprints, serology, pathology, etc. have significant applications in the crime scene investigation.

We came a long way knowing about forensic science, but do you why forensic science is necessary for the society?

Forensic science is very necessary for the stability of society and to ensure the justice in society. You must have known the quote, "evolution is the truth", and our society have undergone various evolutions since its establishment. Similarly, throughout the history, the crimes have also undergone evolution. Moreover, the mode of execution of crimes are also evolved. Therefore, we need the forensic science to ensure the justice in society.

In many countries, like India, you must have witness that there are lots of pending cases, a famous dialogue "Tarique pe Tarique", can define it properly. Have you ever imagined, why there is a lot of pending cases. It's because of lack of evidence related to the crime committed. Forensic science is specialized in evidence collection, therefore can help in justice delivery system.

How many times we have witnessed that a innocent person gets punished for the crime, which he didn't even committed. This was nothing but the false conclusion. As you know that forensic science is specialized in reaching conclusion on the basis of evidence collected from the crime scene. Moreover, everyone is sacred of the third-degree treatment, this treatment can even make the innocent one to confess himself as guilty. Forensic science ensures that innocent is not punished.

Now at the end, you are now aware of the definition, work, branches and need of forensic science in todays evolved society. Our country needs more forensic experts to solve the crime more precisely. I wish you all aim to become Forensic Expert and I will work as to keep you motivated by my blog.

Reference

  • "Forensic DNA Typing" by John M. Butler

  • "The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation" by Ngaire E. Genge

  • "Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction" by Jim Fraser

  • "Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation" by Ross M. Gardner