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Scientific Evidence and Expert Testimony Handbook: A Guide for Lawyers, Criminal Investigators and Forensic Specialists

NCJ Number
R F Becker
Date Published
243 pages
Significant developments in the areas of scientific evidence and expert testimony are addressed to guide trial lawyers, laboratory technicians, police officers, and testifying experts in such areas as fingerprint analysis and identification, blood spatter analysis, accident reconstruction, and firearms identification.
Scientific evidence and expert testimony have become more frequent in courts, based primarily on three correlative factors: (1) increasing dependence of society on technology to provide answers; (2) original infusion of funds into the Law Enforcement Administration to upgrade law enforcement and develop forensic applications; and (3) U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have restricted the admissibility of evidence under the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments and that have urged new investigative skills be developed and applied to criminal investigations. Forensic scientists working in crime laboratories, medical examiners, police evidence technicians, police investigators, and laboratory specialists must often testify as an integral part of the services they provide. The book discusses the use of expert testimony in courts and expert witnesses, fingerprints, mental health experts, the role of police experts in criminal trials, police civil liability, blood evidence, blood spatter, DNA evidence, drug offenders, and firearms identification. References