What Dynamics Deter Forensics and Criminality from Progression?
Long ago, deep in the confines of his palace, past the consummate guards, in the heart of the thriving Roman Empire, Julius Caesar met his end at the hands of assassins who manipulated the populace into believing their emperor died of blood loss under the effect of 23 stabs. Later, the discovery that one — and only one — wound caused his demise sparked forensic science into life. Intertwined with criminal law together forensics and criminality built the pillars of a prospering civilization. Despite their vitality, they are hindered from advancement by dynamics which nations collaborate to occlude. The world has come to appreciate how imminent these fields are and fear the possibility they are lingering behind.
Disclosure of Evidence
Technology has aided a plethora of studies in understanding and discovering their depths. Without robust computing power and nanometric accuracies, forensic science would have been an unachievable dream. Vitally beneficial though it is, technology cannot interfere with the revelation of evidence. Comprehending evidence has become the focal point of forensics, for advanced machinery has achieved data collection.
But while evidence has been amassed efficiently by Crime Scene Investigators (CSI), forensic scientists tend to interpret it invalidly. Consequently, miscarriages of justice were wedged into courts, whose quality standards were impaired. In the twenty-first century, forensic science was about gathering evidence no more.
For instance, of the 108 crime labs lodged in the United States of America, 74 pulled together inaccurate data, one referring to an innocent incorrectly.
The most notable example of this issue is Liam Allan, a condemned Canadian citizen accused of rape and sexual assault. His charge carried forward until his lawyers insisted on looking through his phone records. As there was no data to be revealed from those records, police did not acquiesce to the lawyers’ requests; the trials settled. However, determined to get a hold on the only evidence that might prove his innocence, Allan’s lawyers tried persistently to acquire them. Coerced, the police finally gave in. Liam’s lawyers revealed texts upon which his freedom was authenticated and the trials caved in.
Deciphering the meaning behind the data collected is now the focal target of forensic science. Criminal law is majorly based on scientists interpreting, understanding, and relating the evidence accurately. With that said, principal courts underwent a variety of disclosure systems: ways to reveal evidence. As the uppermost rated and ranked courts, the Magistrate’s Court and the Crown Court initiated extending trials and establishing them on several systems.
As much as criminal law improves nonetheless, the science it is founded upon hosts the predominant short-coming. Forensics, hence, has to progress to rule out miscarriages of justice and drop the number of innocents convicted throughout the world.
At the outset, scientists should investigate crime scenes as separate individual cases. When every case is inspected solely, it is easier for scientists to occlude anomalous results and extract beneficial ones. Once all different sections of the scene are well understood and fathomed, forensic investigators assemble all fractions and start solving the missing pieces. They will now comprehend the crime scene in larger scopes.
Forensic scientists of all fields can mutually abstract the big picture, but no matter how far they get, they will reach an unsurpassable limit; they are, in the end, scientists who studied the same field. To further broaden the edges of understanding, it is relevant to include all vital domains like researchers, lawyers, and government ministers. Research should also investigate all various forensic fields (lab analysis, raising and testing hypothesis, presenting data, etc.) to ferret out the vulnerabilities. England and Wales, as a committee, were able to pin-point the most noticeable problems of forensic science: “lack of strategic oversight and accountability for forensic science” caused by the piecemeal approach. The parties involved are not cooperating; hence the field lacked strategic planning.
Attributable to confidentiality and treachery in this field, meager markets enroll for forensic sustainability. For efficient data collection, this field needs more markets to offer reliable information. The stability of the market includes linking the prosecution and defense systems in the United Kingdom. Across the world, researchers have to excel in their studies of forensics to broaden the niche market. The graph on the left features the growing technology market for forensic science in South Africa four years ago and two years looking forward. The forensic market branched to regions, products, and services as the main segments. The divisions will facilitate investment for stakeholders and clarify future predictions.
Limited Criminal Lawyers and Expert Reports
O n the contrary to widespread rumors, the second main aspect put down to hindering forensics and criminal law from progressing is the meager batch of graduates applying for law, as well as, the expert reports essential for a case to evolve. Those are confined such that it has been increasingly difficult to obtain them.
As mentioned earlier, forensic scientists persevere with consistency to amass evidence from a crime scene using high-performance computing technologies. Instantaneously, a report is developed to secure all facts collected. Passing through different stages, the expert report is finalized. The obstacle arises when the expert report is transferred from the forensic field to the criminality field. A reporting officer (responsible for passing on the expert reports) usually charges high prices for them. Solicitors and lawyers averse to attaining expensive reports. Accordingly, they compensate this by using ones below quality, not up to date, or might base their cases upon none at all. With limited sources and information, judges, solicitors, and magistrates lack adequate knowledge from forensic evidence; henceforth, the defendant’s justice is prejudiced and biased.
Furthermore, the massive amounts of money spent on forensic laboratories are worth noting. The funding, invested in the growth of crime laboratories, rather than expert efficiency contributed to average low-quality expert reports. By veering most of the capital employed towards huge laboratory areas, quality controls and assurances needed to minimize errors in the reports are affected; ergo, wrong convictions occur, and lawyers pay the price.
Governments place the majority of the blame on attorneys and their false defense. Such was the case in numerous countries, across the globe, from America to Russia, and the United Kingdom is no exception. A British criminal lawyer earns almost €41,000, equivalent to a teacher’s salary. India is also another example: there, criminal lawyers’ receives an average of ₹ 608 582 per year. ($6,000)
Accumulated global stereotypes and dwindling salaries caused potential young students to shun the field of criminal law, eventually; resulting in a deterioration of criminal solicitors around the world.
According to the General Authority of Statistics (GAS), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia witnessed a noticeable decline in its lawyers. As of 2016, KSA had a total population of 31,015,999 residents, and for every 8,069 citizens, no more than one advocate was appointed.
Courses of Action
Considering various perspectives, several solutions were laid out. Primarily, the defense and prosecution systems are encouraged to reinforce their forensic testing, which will exclude the imminent need for the reports passing from one field to another. However, establishing the entire forensic testing unit in the defense system is challenging for most countries. Many other businesses decided to cut down on the costs of reports by hiring master experts. Though experts requested high prices, they are much cheaper in the long run than less educated ones. A first-rate reporting officer will construct the expert report with minimal mistakes, thus requiring fewer hours, when compared to a low-quality officer making excessive errors, hence, consuming more time. He/She will then demand further charges per hour and provide the court with a biased report.
Likewise, for forensics, scientists should enrich their understanding of the field and, more importantly, entrepreneurs should prioritize spending on criminal research rather than spending on laboratory areas and sizes.
Looking further, the National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) strongly suggested granting all FSSP (Forensic Science Service Providers: any citizen who majors and works in the forensic science field; i.e., physicians, psychiatrists, criminalists, attorneys…) accreditation (an acknowledgment of a person’s responsibility for or achievement of something).
e Lagos State DNA and Forensics Center (LSD&FC)
Some nations globally resolved to implement this, such as Nigeria. Concerning early 2019, the Lagos State DNA and Forensics Center (LSD&FC) was accredited by A2LA for forensic DNA testing and announced as “the first high-powered DNA forensic laboratory in Nigeria”. The approval spurred the center director into presenting the top results his laboratorians can offer. Another example of this accreditation is the U.S. in 2014, where 88% of its crime laboratories were certified by professional forensic organizations.
In the end, there would be no reason for governments to hold the low salaries of lawyers, and an escalation in payments will be due.
A range of websites was used to devise this report. Despite the role of each article, some were more reliable than others. The most efficient source is the site: https://houstonlawreview.org/article/12197-the-costs-and-benefits-of-forensics. It was published on April 11, 2020: up-to-date. Throughout reading the article, most of the presented ideas were facts excluding all subjective reasoning. The table of contents on the top right helped in navigating the website. On the downside, it would have been more efficient if the author were to decrease the examples posed as they were excessive, in my opinion. The source: https://www.arabnews.com/node/991266/saudi-arabia was published five years ago on September 29, 2016. It features its records on a commercial webpage (.com) and posts several advertisements which do not qualify the data it portrays steadfastly. https://techcabal.com/2019/05/23/csi-nigeria-inside-lagos-dna-and-forensic-centre/ was published on May 23, 2019. Updated though it may be, the webpage is commercial, deduced from the several advertisements bordering its margins. On the other hand, there are pictures of the center director and two of his scientists working in the lab. Yet again, there are no references to any of their statements, unlike the Houston website. A governmental trusted file https://www.justice.gov/archives/ncfs/page/file/905551/download (.gov) has an endorsement stamp on the top right corner from the U.S. department and refers to sites throughout its documentation. On the contrary, it was published in 2016 as an outdated reference but can be used for comparison. Despite being commercial, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190228-how-ai-is-helping-to-fight-crime was published on January 29, 2019. The advantages end there. It displays information with no references nor mentions the year of multiple incidents (e.g., the 74 of 108 crime labs) instead they suffice to say: “a few years ago”.
B y considering the issues, causes, consequences and evaluation, this is the conclusive end of the report. Overall, forensic science and criminal law are advancing at a low rate because of the following elements:
Challenging revelation of evidence
Expensive and scarce expert reports
Lower spending on forensic research
Declined salaries for criminal lawyers
The main course of action which nations converge to accomplish is acquiring accurate and reliable interpretation of evidence. Just as England and Wales recommended, the pivotal key to unlocking the potential of forensic scientists is unveiled. The second predominant resolution, just as vital as the first, is that which was suggested by NCFS and the one Nigeria excelled at: accreditation. Acknowledging laboratories and scientists’ work might be the soundest way to boost the enhancement of these two entwined fields. However, qualifications cannot stand as some entrepreneurs might aim only for accreditation, not providing a superior governmental service.
Ultimately, this is where the path of forensics and criminality comes to an end. I initiated this research believing forensic science and criminal law were strong, established fields with flaws wedged solely in developing and underdeveloped countries. I picked up this global topic formerly presuming that forensics needs further development in technology particularly. The aftermath of delving into forensic and criminal explorations ignited in me the ken that these fields have not reached their zenith point throughout the entire world. I have learned that there is more to forensic science than what is displayed by television shows, and technology is a sheer method of obtaining data; it cannot improve these fields. Forensic science and criminal law will advance when the unison of the world nations will uphold.
Disclosure of Evidence
Limited Criminal Lawyers and Expert Reports