Crime Laboratory

Crime Laboratory

Crime Laboratories

In line with Ellen Sexton

about Crime Laboratory in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

A crime laboratory, according to the American (United States) Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), is “a laboratory (with at least one full-time scientist) which examines physical evidence in criminal matters and provides opinion testimony with respect to such physical evidence in a court of law” (ASCLD, 1997, p. 1). With the exception of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and some other federal labs, crime labs in the United States of America developed independently of one another, in a generally haphazard manner, in response to local perceived needs. In the absence of any centralized leadership, the provision of forensic science services to individual police departments evolved in a number of different ways. During the latter half of the 19th century, there was relatively little reliance on physical evidence in crime solving.

Crime Laboratory Accreditation

In line with William J. Tilstone

about Crime Laboratory in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The introduction of fingerprinting to solve crimes (there is more information about criminal law in the American Legal Encyclopedia and about crimes and criminals vocabulary), which began at the end of the 19th century, highlighted the reluctance of the police to accept technology and testimony surrounding it as evidence in criminal prosecutions. Yet by the end of the 20th century forensic investigations had come to play a larger and larger role in determining both the guilt and the innocence of the accused and even, in some cases, of those previously convicted. The increasing reliance on technology and laboratory evidence has led to concerns by both prosecutors and defenders about the results produced by forensic science labs. If criminal justice professionals and those who serve on juries lack confidence in the professional operation of these labs, the efforts of scientists and their managers will be meaningless. These concerns have resulted in the accreditation of crime labs to ensure that they are following accepted scientific practices.

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