Forensic science role in solving judicial cases

The application of science to the law is known as forensic science. Forensic analysis key role is to investigate and prosecute civil and criminal cases. It can aid in determining the guilt or innocence of potential suspects.

Its goal is to advise individuals conducting criminal investigations and provide correct information to courts to resolve criminal and civil issues. Forensic evidence is primarily utilized to connect crimes suspected to be linked. DNA evidence, for example, might link one perpetrator to a number of different crimes or crime sites, or it can exonerate the guilty. Forensic evidence also assists in connecting crimes assisting law enforcement officials in narrowing the spectrum of probable suspects and establishing patterns of crime that may be utilized to identify and prosecute individuals. 

Forensic scientists, primarily utilised in criminal cases, deal with the search and investigation of physical traces used in establishing a suspect of creating a crime at the site of the crime or of the victim. This might include blood traces or bodily fluids, as well as clothing and materials.

A forensic expert, such as a scientist from any technological discipline, will give evidence analysis, witness testimony on examination results, technical support, and even training in his or her specialized area. Its goal is to provide advice to those conducting criminal investigations by recognizing and retrieving evidence at crime scenes and reliable information on which they may rely to settle criminal and civil issues. Murder, rape, accident-related occurrences, unidentified individuals, displaced persons, fraud-related instances, and forgeries are all examples of crime.

Forensic science also encompasses everything vital in gathering, preserving, and analysing evidence, such as DNA identification, structural design study, and explosive identification. Statements and witnesses are utilised as evidence in India, and those found guilty are penalised. As a result, forensic science services may become the essential crime-fighting tool for law enforcement.   

A wide range of forensic science and forensic resources are used to investigate a criminal crime. Throughout the criminal investigation, evidence is gathered from the crime site or by an eyewitness to the entire occurrence, which is subsequently analysed in a forensic lab, and the findings are given to the court. Every criminal investigation is unique in its way and has its own set of obstacles. Forensic science plays an important part in the criminal justice system by providing scientifically based information through the investigation of tangible evidence, such as fingerprints, footprints, blood drops or ears, cell phones or other gadgets, autos, and arms.

In both criminal defence and prosecution, trial attorneys and lawyers employ forensics to prove and refute the evidence they present in court. For example, when there are no witnesses for the crime committed, the prosecution can gather DNA evidence obtained at the crime scene in the defence. Forensics may even show when a crime occurred — down to the minute and hour. Forensics can also be utilised to ascertain the cause of death, which can provide investigators with information on the murder weapon to seek and, as a result, a starting point for their search for a suspect.

Drug-related crimes and sex crimes are two of the most prevalent crimes investigated with forensic technology. Forensics can be used in drug offences to ascertain the chemical makeup and hence whether or not an individual had illicit narcotics. Suppose the findings show that an individual has used illegal substances. In that case, the prosecution can use the results as evidence to prosecute them for anything from drug possession to drug production or trafficking. In the case of a poisoning death, forensics can be utilised to establish the drug used to kill the person and restrict the list of suspects by determining who would have access to such chemicals. In sex-related offences, DNA from the victim may be extracted, and the findings analysed is used to convict the perpetrator. 

The judicial system is well aware of the importance of forensic evidence in criminal proceedings. This is because adopting scientific methodologies and approaches leaves little opportunity for bias or discrimination. This is why DNA profiling and other forms of forensic evidence are widely accepted in courts across the world. Surprisingly, the Chinese (650 A.D.) invented the first forensic procedure incorporating fingerprint identification.

Forensic testimony is extensively utilised in condemning and exonerating suspects worldwide. As a result, forensic science labs have sprung up all over the world in recent decades. In addition, Special Acts have been introduced in the United States, Canada, and Australia to improve the delivery of forensic services. This increases the certainty with which crimes are detected, and as a result, conviction rates may rise. Such Acts place a high value on crime scene management, both prompt and high quality. Forensic evidence is often utilised for both guilty and acquitted offenders. As a fact, the number of crime laboratories worldwide has expanded dramatically over several decades. India established the first governmental crime laboratory in 1878. There are currently 35 forensic labs that only deal with one-of-a-kind facts. The expanding rank in forensic sciences and the critical role that forensic evidence plays in many criminal trials has increased the number of criminal labs.

In the Indian case, more emphasis was placed on the application of these technologies in criminal investigations and trials. Commissions on criminal justice reform have said that crime detection technology will allow the system to function more efficiently. As per the advancements, the relevant laws have been amended from time to time to accommodate the use of forensic technology in the investigation and prosecution of crime. Nonetheless, it might be claimed that the regulations that need to be altered now contain problems. Furthermore, because of their conservative attitude, judges are hesitant to depend on empirical evidence or other inherent faults in the material given in court that prohibits them from relying totally on it. The basic goal of the criminal justice system is to provide equitable justice. Without a doubt, forensic evidence is more believable than eyewitness testimony. Currently, forensic science plays a vital role in crime prevention and detection. The basic clause of the criminal justice system is to provide fair justice. Forensic science is advantageous to the criminal justice system as scientific evidence. 

A brief about Forensic Science and its branches

Forensic Science is an emerging branch of science that is a combination of scientific investigations and law. It is formed from two Latin words- “forensis” and “science” which help in solving a crime scene and analyzing the evidence. This is a core branch of science involving a lot of precision of science and law. Using scientific methods in solving cases has been practiced since an ancient era where the trial was held publicly as it used to carry a strong judicial connotation. With the advancement of science and technology has led the forensic field to foster. 

The things forensic science experts perform are the examination of the body also known as an autopsy, document identification, evidence examination, a search of the crime scene, collecting fingerprints, and analyzing a small sample of blood, saliva, or any other fluids for determination and identification processes. In jurisprudence, forensics involves the application of knowledge and technology from several scientific fields. Biology, pharmacy, chemistry, medicine, and so on are the examples as each of them applies in today’s more complex legal proceedings in which experts from these fields are hard to prove offences. Forensic science is the application of medical and paramedical expertise to assist the administration of justice in solving legal matters or in the court of law. The forensic findings can be used in a court of law as a piece of evidence and thus can be useful in solving a legal matter or dispute.

Forensic Science has various branches like Forensic biology, forensic physics, computational forensic, digital forensics, forensic accounting, forensic anthropology, forensic archaeology, forensic astronomy, forensic ballistic, forensic botany, forensic chemistry, forensic dactyloscopy, forensic document examination, forensic DNA analysis, forensic entomology, forensic geology, forensic linguistics, forensic meteorology, forensic odontology, forensic pathology, forensic podiatry, forensic toxicology, forensic psychology, forensic economics, criminology and wildlife forensics. 

  • Forensic biology – Forensic Biology is the use of biological scientific principles and processes, generally in a legal setting. Forensic biologists examine plants cellular and tissue samples, as well as physiological fluids, in the course of a legal inquiry.
  • Forensic physics – Forensic physics is the use of physics for civil or criminal law objectives. Forensic physics has typically entailed the determination of density (soil and glass investigation), the refractive index of materials, and birefringence for fibre analysis. Ballistics is a sub-discipline of forensic physics.
  • Computational forensic – Computational science is being used to investigate and solve problems in several sectors of forensic research.
  • Digital forensics – It specialises in retrieving data from electronic and digital media.
  • Forensic accounting – Accounting for forensic purposes investigates and evaluates facts pertaining to accounting.
  • Forensic anthropology – Forensic anthropology is the use of anthropology and osteology to establish information about a human body in an advanced stage of decomposition.
  • Forensic archaeology – Archaeology for forensic purposes is the branch in which archaeological approaches are used
  • Forensic astronomy – Astronomy for forensic purposes is the use of celestial constellations to address legal concerns is quite uncommon. It is most commonly utilised to solve historical issues.
  • Forensic ballistic – Forensic Ballistics is the examination of any evidence pertaining to weapons (bullets, bullet marks, shell casings, gunpowder residue etc.)
  • Forensic botany – Plant leaves, seeds, pollen, and other plant life found on the crime scene, victim, or accused can give solid proof of the accused’s presence.
  • Forensic chemistry – Forensic chemistry focuses on the investigation of illegal narcotics, gunshot residue, and other chemical compounds.
  • Forensic dactyloscopy – Dactyloscopy for forensic purposes relates to the collection, preservation, and analysis of fingerprint evidence.
  • Forensic document examination – Examining forensic documents investigates, researches, and determines the facts of documents under dispute in court.
  • Forensic DNA analysis – This branch of forensic science focuses on the collecting and analysis of DNA evidence for use in court.
  • Forensic entomology – It investigates insects discovered at the scene of a crime or on the body of a victim, and it is especially useful in pinpointing the time and place of the victim’s death.
  • Forensic geology – Geology for forensic purposes entails the use of geological variables such as soil and minerals to obtain evidence for a crime.
  • Forensic linguistics – It is the study of the language used in judicial procedures. Emergency calls, voice identification, ransom demands, suicide notes, and so on are all examples.
  • Forensic meteorology –  It includes using meteorological variables to ascertain details about a crime. It is most frequently applied in instances involving insurance companies and homicides.
  • Forensic odontology –  It refers to the investigation of dental evidence.
  • Forensic pathology – This branch of forensic science is concerned with the examination of a body and identifying factors such as the cause of death.
  • Forensic podiatry – Forensic podiatry refers to the investigation of footprint evidence.
  • Forensic toxicology – A forensic toxicologist investigates toxic compounds found on or in a body, such as narcotics, e-liquid, and poisons.
  • Forensic Psychology – Forensic Psychology and Forensic Psychiatry are two branches of forensic medicine. These are concerned with the legal implications of human activity.
  • Forensic economics – This is the investigation and analysis of economic damage evidence, which includes present-day estimations of lost earnings and benefits, the lost value of a firm, lost business profits, lost value of home services, replacement labour expenses, and future medical care expenditures. 
  • Criminology – In criminal investigations, this involves the use of several disciplines to answer issues about the study and comparison of biological evidence, trace evidence, impression evidence (such as fingerprints, shoeprints, and tyre tracks), restricted drugs, and guns.
  • Wildlife forensics – This involves the investigation of crime situations involving animals, such as endangered species or animals that have been unlawfully killed or poached.

When it comes to life and death situations, the objective proof is critical. In the past, significant evidence in criminal prosecutions might have come from witnesses or other subjective sources, but forensic science now provides for objective evidence. That is, forensic evidence, which is based on the scientific approach, is considered more dependable than even eyewitness testimony. In a legal system that holds that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, forensic scientists’ evidence is now routinely used by both the defence and the prosecution in many court cases. While Forensic Toxicologists, for example, may work most closely with law enforcement or the courts after a crime has been committed, Forensic Psychologists (also known as Profilers) might step in even before a suspect has been identified to assist prevent future crimes.