Forensics..... Science or $$$ maker

jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior MemberPosts: 9,599 Senior Member
Many people see the advancements in forensics as making evidence 'clearer' to juries. I think it makes evidence murkier. You have 'hired experts' (they don't do it for free, it is a profession) telling you they have enhanced the evidence to prove the claims of the side the expert got paid to testify on behalf of. While the other side has their 'expert' debunk the other 'expert'..... How does the average person know???

Case in point.... http://www.theblaze.com/stories/cnn-enhances-zimmerman-911-call-again-and-reporter-now-doubts-racial-slur-used/

You can push the little levers every which way until you get the sound you WANT (get paid) to hear.

Same way with photo enhancement. Security cameras record pixels. How can they zoom in and replace/add pixels that were never recorded?

Shows like CSI really mess with the publics perception of how forensics work. This is why the average citizen can be led to believe DNA and gun registeries work enough to warrant their extremely high costs......
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson

Replies

  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Oh, I think it's hard to refute things like DNA test, trajectories and things like blood splatter to determine if a gun was close or far away for suicide vs murder investigations. There are some good shows on TV like "Forensic Detectives" that use actual science to come to conclusions, not the entertainment junk on prime-time TV.

    Yes, you can get people to say just about anything in their "Expert Opinion" either to convict or plant a seed of doubt in a jury.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt, it is like those TV dramas that test a person to see if they have fired a gun within the time frame of a murder, that in and of itself is not enough evidence to convict someone of murder, you need a murder weapon, ballistics, and much other evidence and testimony etc....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,599 Senior Member
    Same as this one.... http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/01/voice-heard-screaming-on-11-tape-is-not-trayvon-martin-shooter-george-zimmerman/

    An eyewitness saw Zimmeramn screaming with his own eyes, but these two experts say it wasn't him.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I've gotten paid to be the "expert" in a few automotive-related lawsuits, particularly where Auto Zone sold a man an incorrect radiator cap which resulted in an engine failure from overheating. That one didn't get beyond my first meeting with the other side's "expert" and both lawyers. Auto Zone really didn't want me on the witness stand, so they made a very generous settlement offer.

    A couple of lawyers have tried to buy my testimony, and found out pretty quickly they can't offer enough money to get me to lie for them!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    I've gotten paid to be the "expert" in a few automotive-related lawsuits, particularly where Auto Zone sold a man an incorrect radiator cap which resulted in an engine failure from overheating. That one didn't get beyond my first meeting with the other side's "expert" and both lawyers. Auto Zone really didn't want me on the witness stand, so they made a very generous settlement offer.

    A couple of lawyers have tried to buy my testimony, and found out pretty quickly they can't offer enough money to get me to lie for them!
    Jerry

    What, you mean there are unethical lawyers out there, I'm shocked:tooth:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,018 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    What, you mean there are unethical lawyers out there, I'm shocked:tooth:
    Yeah, :yikes: Next thing you know you'll be trying to tell me there is no Santa Clause either :nono:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Yeah, :yikes: Next thing you know you'll be trying to tell me there is no Santa Clause either :nono:

    There is a Santa Claws, it is the Government, and once the Government gets it's Santa Claws in your pocket, your gun fund is poo.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • addy777addy777 Banned Posts: 4 New Member
    deleted for spam
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,140 Senior Member
    The modern forensic science isn't more difficult for the forensic community to understand, but is more difficult for the lay person to understand (read: jury). Forensic evidence is so much more than an eyewitness and a fingerprint these days.

    There are some soft sciences that try to be entered as evidence; but, for the most part, I have only seen things like photo lineups and DNA be the concrete decision makers.

    And to directly respond to your quandary... It is a science AND a money-maker.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,599 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    The modern forensic science isn't more difficult for the forensic community to understand, but is more difficult for the lay person to understand (read: jury). Forensic evidence is so much more than an eyewitness and a fingerprint these days.

    There are some soft sciences that try to be entered as evidence; but, for the most part, I have only seen things like photo lineups and DNA be the concrete decision makers.

    And to directly respond to your quandary... It is a science AND a money-maker.

    The money side, I was more thinking of the ones who 'make' the evidence 'fit' what they are getting paid for...... Like the 'experts' did to the Trayvon calls....
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,140 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    The money side, I was more thinking of the ones who 'make' the evidence 'fit' what they are getting paid for...... Like the 'experts' did to the Trayvon calls....

    The Trayvon case is a gigantic sack of horse s...stuff. It will be fraught with inadequacies thanks to the high-profile case it has become.

    There are expert witnesses on the payrolls of attorney's, but that is why the State is also allowed to do a third-party analysis (and vice-versa for the defense) of evidence to provide a reasonable effort in debunking other testimony.

    But all that examination of "evidence" will come to light in court...whenever they find a reasonable venue to conduct it in...
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,321 Senior Member
    Forensics vary, and of course there is always a "professional witness" who is working for the defense. Then there was that scandal with the FBI's lab some years ago about enhancing evidence. Very bad. Science should stand on its own, and not need enhancing. The jury can ignore irrefutable evidence, as it did in the OJ case (DNA).

    The burden of proof is not beyond a shadow of a doubt, as the judge will explain in his charge to the jury. It's beyond a "reasonable" doubt. Which the judge will also explain.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Any "doubt" will count on behalf of the defendant, and in past cases predating DNA mapping, defendants have has cases re-opened and evidence re-examined, and convictions (rape) have been overturned.

    Single facets of evidence is often not always enough to convict, forensic sciences have helped by identifying / differentiating elements from other like substances, gasoline is not all the same, spectrographic analysis can tell the difference between brands and octanes, this helps an investigation greatly.

    The key is INVESTIGATION, and forensics is the Investigators greatest ally.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 19,018 Senior Member
    csiguy55 wrote: »
    field.
    BYE :spam: er
    :banned:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


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