Forensic Examples of impressions at a crime scene

Forensic
science is a crucial part of a criminal investigation. Many crimes depend on
evidence to prosecute a suspect. Crime scene processing is defined as the
“process of searching for, recognizing, documenting, collecting, and submitting
evidence from a crime scene.” (Gaensslen & Larsen, 2013) This week, we
learned about the importance of impressions at a crime scene. In this paper, I
will review two photos of impression evidence and discuss the types of
individualized patterns that can be seen within the images. I will explain how
to collect and preserve this type of evidence as well as explain the relevant
information that can be gleaned from this type of evidence.      

An impression is “any mark made by an
object impressing its shape and form into or onto another object or surface.

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Impressions can be imprints or indentations.” (Gaensslen & Larsen, 2013)
Examples of impressions at a crime scene include tire impressions, foot
impressions, and fingerprint impressions. The first impression I will evaluate
is a tire impression. With this type of impression proper processing needs to
be followed in order to preserve the integrity of the evidence. The tire
impression in Figure 4.2 is considered an impression because it was left in
soft soil. If the impression was on a hard surface, such as an asphalt road, it
would be considered an imprint. To collect this type of evidence you would
start by taking photographs of the impression. These photographs should show
the measurement of the impression and try to capture the entire impression if
possible. The next step would be to make a casting of the impression. A casting
will allow the forensic scientist to compare with other tires. It is difficult
for two vehicles to leave the same tire marks due to wear variations on tires.

This type of evidence will narrow down the make and model of the vehicle and
help lead detectives to finding the specific car by comparing the tires of
suspected vehicles.   

The second impression I will evaluate is
an impression of a shoe. Shoe impressions are similar to tire impressions in
regards to collection and preservation. Figure 4.3 shows the impression was
located in soft sand. Because of this, many aspects of analyzing this evidence
will be similar to the previous impression discussed. A casting would be made
of the shoe impression in order to help investigators determine the type of
shoe based on the sole impression marks. Individual characteristics of the shoe
impression will help compare a suspect’s shoe by looking for similar wear
markings. As with the tire impressions, pictures showing the entire shoe
impression should be taken with and without measurements. This type of evidence
is often found at crime scenes. It is a significant piece of evidence though
since it can link a suspect to the actual crime scene or even narrow a suspect
list down by eliminating based on this information.

                        Evidence
is an important aspect of any criminal investigation. In a court of law,
evidence is used to determine whether a suspect is guilty or innocent of
committing a crime. Following the proper guidelines when collecting and
preserving evidence is very important since the prosecution places trust in the
forensic science team to ensure the evidence can be presented in court. Without
following guidelines, evidence can easily be dismissed, allowing the suspect to
be acquitted.

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