Forensic Science in the 21st Century Criminal Justice

The emergence of the forensic science dates back to the antiquity when the earliest and primitive forensic practices were applied to punish criminals and prevent them from escaping punishment. In the course of time, the forensic science evolved and changed consistently. In fact, the forensic science evolved from the elementary, fragmentary forensic knowledge to the large branch of science. Moreover, today, the forensic science interacts closely with other sciences and, in the 21st century criminal justice system, the forensic science is a system of scientific knowledge incorporating advancements in different fields of science aiming at the investigation of crimes, study of evidences and other researches related to crimes. However, the ultimate purpose of the forensic science has not changed and it is still the same as it used in the past the forensic science facilitates and assists to the investigation of crimes to find criminals and to help the criminal justice system to take the proper decision. On the other hand, today, the forensic science has made a tremendous progress and, today, it allows investigators to use the most advanced technologies and scientific discoveries in their professional work that helps to investigate crimes but even the modern forensic science is not always helpful.

In actuality, the forensic science combines human knowledge in different fields of science. The development of the modern forensic science is very important because the forensic science is essential for accurate and adequate investigation of crimes. At the same time, it is important to remember about the fact that the modern world is a highly technological world. The advancement of modern technologies contributes to the emergence of new types of crimes. Moreover, the use of new, sophisticated tools and technologies help criminals to hide their crimes and to prevent investigators from a successful investigation of modern crimes. In such a situation, the modern forensic science needs to keep progressing to facilitate the process of investigation and to help detectives to investigate the most complicated crimes.

Therefore, the progress of technologies proves to have quite a controversial impact on the development of the forensic science and criminal justice. On the one hand, the technological progress contributes to the further development of the forensic science that opens larger opportunities for the investigation of crimes (Adler, 2004). On the other hand, the technological progress makes the process of investigation more and more complicated because criminals can use technological advancements to meet their criminal ends.

In such a context, the role of the forensic science can hardly be underestimated because, today, the forensic science plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system. For instance, the advancements in genetic research allow identification of individuals with almost 100% accuracy. Consequently, the modern forensic science can identify accurately whether an individual has any relation to a crime, as a victim or offender, or not just using genetic analysis and collected evidences and materials at the crime spot (Blackburn, 1996). The advancements in genetics are just one of numerous manifestations of the overall progress of the forensic science, which prove that the criminal justice system can use the full potential of the forensic science to investigate crimes and define whether individuals are guilty or not and the extent to which they are involved in crimes.

Furthermore, modern investigations are hardly possible without the technological advancements of the forensic science. In the contemporary world, detectives often face unsurpassable obstacles when they investigate crimes because of the lack of evidence or because of difficulties associated with collecting and analysis of evidences (Bartol & Bartol, 1999). In this regard, the forensic science can also be very helpful because it can help to process the information collected in the course of the investigation and provide scientifically grounded conclusions concerning crimes or some facts related to crimes.

Paradoxically, in spite of the significant progress of the forensic science and its increased role in the modern criminal justice system, mass media still fail to present the forensic science and the work of forensic detectives accurately and true to real life. Instead, the work of forensic detectives is often presented in a simplified form. In fact, mass media provide the audience with quite a superficial view on the forensic science, whereas, in actuality, the forensic science is much more complicated. Often mass media focus on action, procedure of investigation and they avoid overwhelming the audience with scientific details of the investigation. However, the forensic science is the science above all, whereas its role in investigation is rather supportive, complementary than primary. As a result, mass media shape an erroneous, superficial view on the forensic science.

Thus, in conclusion, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the forensic science plays an extremely important role in the contemporary justice system. The forensic science contributes to the accurate investigation of crimes, and facilitates investigations and court processes. At the same time, the public is often unaware of the full potential of the forensic science, which though is not almighty in terms of investigations.

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