Forensic science involves the scientific disciplines that utilize the principles of physical sciences, chemistry, biology etc. , to identify and compare evidence for law enforcement agencies. Sciences used in forensics can include any discipline that will aid in the collection, preservation and analysis of evidence. Since the 1980 s, forensic science has played an important part in law enforcement.
It has provided the necessary evidence to indict an individual (s) accused of a crime or to exonerate an individual who turned out to be innocent based on the forensic evidence that was found at the scene and analyzed. It has even been used to exonerate those individuals who had been incarcerated for years for a crime that they had not committed. Chemistry is the science principally used in the identification of explosives. However, each time we enter or leave a room, we leave behind evidence. Forensics relies upon chemical and physical methods of analysis that will create "fingerprints" or "signatures" of people. Through chemical analysis, a bullet can be identified by the "prints" it has on it.
Each gun gives a different signature to a bullet. Engineering is the science used for the examination of structural design. This would include fire investigation, industrial accidents, product liability, traffic accidents, civil engineering and transportation disasters. Through this science it can be determined where a fire started and what type of incendiary device was used just by looking at the evidence. The first priority in handling a major disaster such as an airline crash is to identify, isolate, and secure the site as quickly as possible. The location and terrain are important in formulating a plan of operation.
Biology is the science used for DNA identification or matching. The statistics obtained from DNA analysis can now be used to identify one individual to the exclusion of all others. This helps law enforcement narrow the range of possible suspects and also helps to establish patterns for crimes. The Combined DNA Index Systems (COD IS) has had a dramatic influence on the comparison of blood and other tissue identification. In the last few years DNA has been used extensively in processing evidence that had been collected in capital cases. Men who had been on "death row" for allegedly committing capital offenses have been exonerated through the analysis of the evidence collected at the time of the offense.
Based on the foregoing information, Forensic Science has been a welcomed tool for law enforcement. The investigation now has an element that can prevent unnecessary mistakes in identifying culprits and bringing to justice those who are actually guilty of the offense.