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Jan 15th, 2015
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Question description

What are the steps and characteristics of a successful criminal investigation?  

Why is evidence collection so important to a crime scene investigation?

What can negatively and positively impact evidence collection? Provide examples from a particular crime scene featured in Criminal Investigation or another source

The first step in the investigation is determining if the said crime has taken place on the scene. The second is verifying the jurisdiction of the investigators to ensure that they do not overstep on their mandate. Thirdly, it is necessary to ensure discovery of all the facts and physical evidence in the crime scene. The next step is recovering any stolen property and identifying the perpetrators. With the necessary authority the perpetrator are apprehended and the arraigned in the court for prosecution with proper and effective witness testimonies. Having a prosecutor during the crime processing is important since he or she can get first hard-undistorted information from the scene as well as get the evidence from the scene of crime. A prosecutor will be able to address his case better due to the presence in the processing.

No two crimes will have the same evidence, and each jurisdiction is also different. Evidence collection is an important to a crime scene investigation. This is because the investigators are able to relate it to the logic of reasoning or any other scientific research investigation that might of importance in further research (Becker and Dutelle, 2013). The evidence helps proof the working theories that demonstrate clear patterns of inference, the cause or any described effects.

The tagging, labeling & marking of the proof adds credibility & control to our ability to identifying the item. The chain of custody is defined as the witnessed, written record of all of the individuals who maintained unbroken control over the items of proof. It establishes the proof that the items of proof collected at the crime scene is the same proof that is being introduced in a court of law (Byrd, 2015).

Consequently having competent investigators, proper resources, and proper preparation for the in depth investigation will positive affect data collection. For example in a scene of robbery, the investigators need to use all the available means to get the relevant information.

People are often accused of crimes they didn’t commit. DNA can be used to clear these suspects. In cases where a suspect has not yet been identified, biological evidence from the crime scene can be analyzed and compared to offender profiles in DNA databases to help identify the perpetrator (Using  DNA, 2014). In  1996, a man pleaded guilty to robbing a gas station, and his DNA was collected for analysis and inclusion in the Virginia DNA database. They were backlogged, then came the summer of 2000, and the evidence was analyzed. However many years later his DNA was analyzed, he was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison. There are also many cold cases that have been solved using DNA evidence, such as the Boston Strangler.

The language barriers, lack of honest witnesses or withholding important information might negatively affect collection of evidence. According to TOM FOREMAN: ABC News (voice-over) And former Denver prosecutor Craig Silverman says, “add to that a virtual war between the police chief and the Boulder district attorney over handling of evidence and sharing of evidence with Ramsey family attorneys, and the case was doomed.” CRAIG SILVERMAN, Former Denver Prosecutor (Myles, 2000).


Becker, R. F. & Dutelle, A. W. (2013). Criminal investigation (4th ed.) Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Byrd, M. (2015). Proper Tagging and Labeling of Evidence for Later ... Retrieved from www.crime-scene-investigator.net/tagging.html

Myles, S. (2000, April 7). [PDF]Criminal Investigation Case Management.pdf. Retrieved from www.emich.edu/.../Criminal%20Investigatio... Eastern Michigan University

Using DNA to Solve Crimes - US Department of Justice. (2014, September 9). Retrieved from www.justice.gov/.../advancing-justice..

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