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Forensics Essay

  • Date Submitted: 02/20/2013 11:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.8 
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Forensic Science
Essay # 4

Although experts believe that hair and fiber are not accurate sources of evidence, there is still a considerable amount of information that can be obtained from them.   This type of evidence would not be used to make any absolute conclusions but it can help to support other evidence or introduce new possibilities in criminal investigations.   The reliability of the information gathered from hair and fiber samples can vary widely from case to case.   The information is pertinent in certain cases when it is able to place suspects at the scene of a crime and possibly divulge information about the suspects.   Conversely, the information may be useless in other cases if it contradicts other evidence.   The type, condition, and number of hairs collected at the crime scene all influence their value as evidence in criminal investigations.   Questioned hair samples are useful if they are able to be compared with known human or animal samples.   Identical characteristics suggest that certain individuals may have come into contact directly or that they came into contact with a certain object.   Association between hairs is relevant primarily in violent crimes such as homicide or assault and any case involving physical contact.   The presence of hair and fiber can also be helpful in cases of theft because it can identify suspects.
Human hairs and fibers are typically examined in a forensic laboratory through the use of light microscopy.   This process consists of first identifying the hair sample, and then comparing it to samples in which the origin is known. Hair evidence can have either class or individual characteristics depending on whether DNA is present or not.   If samples only display similar characteristics to a sample found at a crime scene, the evidence will fall under the category of class characteristics.   This is common because all humans have the same basic morphology.   However, if DNA is able to pinpoint the hair sample to one specific...

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