Free Essay. Importance of Using Scientific Method in the Process of Behavioral Evidence Analysis

Published: 2023-04-20
Free Essay. Importance of Using Scientific Method in the Process of Behavioral Evidence Analysis
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Knowledge Forensic science Criminal justice
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1724 words
15 min read

Haig (2018) defined the scientific method as a stepwise process that various psychological researchers and academicians strictly follow to determine the existence of a typical form of relationship between two or more study variables. Behavioral Evidence Analysis (BEA) refers to a conceptual deductive technique used in the process of crime-scene analysis (CSA). Scientific method plays a vital role in the BEA process, which entails the examination as well as interpretation of physical evidence, crime scene attributes, and forensic substantiations (Slocum et al., 2014). First, the scientific method tries to minimize the impact of bias as well as prejudices that may affect the reliability and validity of the findings made from the BEA process. Secondly, the stepwise approach provides an objective and standardized procedure that researchers use to conduct experiments, which, in turn, increases the credibility of the results (Haig, 2018). Thirdly, the scientific method increases the confidence of the researchers by ensuring that they stick to the facts while avoiding the influence of their preconceived notions.

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Fourthly the scientific method enables psychological researchers to study various aspects of how people think and behave in different places, which is critical in conducting investigations in typical crime scene for criminologists (Slocum et al., 2014). Lastly, the stepwise technique not only enables researchers to examine and understand various psychological phenomena but also serves as a vital strategy for sharing and discussing the results of multiple studies to make appropriate conclusions. The scientific method has five essential steps that researchers must follow when profiling a typical criminal case. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the process as a criminologist profiling an offender suspected to commit murder. The first approach entails observing by identifying the alleged criminals and conducting a comprehensive review of their profile (Voit, 2019). Reviewing the offenders' profile is crucial because it can help in understanding whether they have a history of murder.

Haig (2018) added that the review is crucial in the formulation of a hypothesis, which, in turn, leads to the collection of appropriate data that helps in making final decisions. The second step entails asking a question. It is critical to developing a hypothesis by asking a relevant subject. For instance, determining whether an offender suspected for murder is a drug addict and has a gun is critical in establishing innocence (Voit, 2019). The third step entails testing the formulated hypothesis and collecting appropriate data from the field regarding the suspect's friends, family background, and history of criminal involvement. Fourthly, it is vital to examine the results and draw an appropriate conclusion. For instance, suspects found in possession of illegal firearms and indulgence in drug abuse could be responsible for murder (Slocum et al., 2014). Therefore, the last process will be reporting such cases to the necessary authority, such as courts for conviction and sentencing.

The Purpose of Creating Hypothesis and Using a Deductive Process to Assert Conclusion

According to Haig (2018), developing a hypothesis and utilizing the deductive process to assert conclusion seeks to achieve various goals and purposes in the scientific method. First, a hypothesis aims to talk about a particular research problem as well as addressing any form of study phenomenon under investigation by various researchers. Secondly, a hypothesis seeks to encourage the use of a critical and appropriate direction by the researcher to produce the desired outcomes of the study (Ju & Choi, 2018). Therefore, the hypothesis aims to help researchers to turn their ideas into appropriate research questions and review the available literature. Thirdly, developing a hypothesis is also crucial in identifying the proper research design as well as the methods that the research team can effectively use to collect, analyze, interpret, and present the study findings (Slocum et al., 2014). Therefore, having a well-developed hypothesis can lead to valid and reliable results.

Fourthly, a well-developed hypothesis seeks to help the researcher to understand the implications of the research for clinical practice alongside obtaining the appropriate ethical and trust approval (Ju & Choi, 2018). Lastly, creating a hypothesis enables the researcher to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issue under investigation while helping in careful and focused analysis of the data gathered from a particular study, which in turn, helps in asserting the appropriate conclusion. On the other hand, deductive reasoning is a typical form of critical and creative thinking in which researchers rely on the use of true premises to develop valid, reliable, and credible conclusions in an ideal research study. The credibility of the conclusion made by researchers relies on the assumptions. Therefore, the conclusion can only be correct if the premises used are factual and rational (Slocum et al., 2014). The process aims to use generalized principles to make valid conclusions.

Moreover, deductive reasoning gives researchers and those taking part in the study sufficient time to receive information from two or more assertions before developing a conclusion that is not only sound but logical (Ju & Choi, 2018). This form of reasoning also aims at ensuring that every person presents a wide range of facts that are valid in a typical argument. Presentation of accurate facts, in turn, motivates and compels the individual in question to think not only critically but also creatively to assert an evidence-based conclusion. Deductive reasoning also attempts to move from generalities to making conclusions that are specific because of the truthfulness of the statements used (Haig, 2018). Therefore, the outcome can only be accurate, valid, and reliable if the premises used are facts.

Staging, Implications of a Criminal Investigation, and Its Discovery Strategies

According to Chancellor and Graham (2014), staging refers to a typical form of precautionary act used by a plethora of law-breakers in contemporary society to distance themselves from all type of criminal activities. In most cases, such offenders serve as the first suspects in a typical criminal case, which they might combine other strategies with staging to avoid the criminal justice process. Staging is a common form of precautionary move in modern criminal investigations and has a far-reaching impact on the criminal investigation process (Bitton & Dayan, 2019). First, offenders usually mislead the investigating agents by identifying staged crime scenes to alter evidence deliberately. Secondly, the frequency of staged crime scenes remains unknown despite offenders using them frequently to deceive law enforcement officers, which implies that the court has a higher probability of declaring a plethora of criminals innocent (Ju & Choi, 2018). Thirdly, the decision of the court to release such criminals due to lack of evidence puts the community at risk.

Chancellor and Graham (2014) ascertained that criminals with successful incidences of the staging of the crime scene might continue committing their previous offences in different parts of the country without detection. Lastly, staging can lead to jailing and punishment of innocent civilians, especially those working in the areas in which the alleged crimes occurred. The state may fail to set free such individuals due to lack of competent legal representation. The failure of the detectives to effectively investigate, learn, and understand the behaviour of the suspects comprehensively after committing an offence and using staging as a precautionary act can lead to their escape from punishment. As a result, innocent victims must remain in jail to serve their sentence term (Slocum et al., 2014). Therefore, preventing staging can be a vital strategy towards increasing the capacity of a typical country to convict and sentence some of its legendary criminals, including terrorists, hackers, and fraudsters.

There are different strategies that law-enforcement officers can deploy to discover the presence of staging in a particular criminal case. First, detectives should conduct a standard review of the situation at hand to gain a detailed understanding of the event as well as the crime scene (Chancellor & Graham, 2014). This review should help law enforcement officers to determine how the incident occurred concerning the sketches, photographs, and different technical reports alongside the lists of all physical and forensic evidence identified and collected during the occurrence of the crime. Secondly, detectives should conduct a thorough examination of the scene by relying on the actions as well as the behaviors demonstrated by the offender. Investigators should and determine what they did before, during, and after the occurrence of the crime (Bitton & Dayan, 2019). Any instances of defection between the behaviour, actions, and speech of the offender with the filed information can help in discovering staging. Lastly, law enforcement officers can rely on witnesses and whistleblowers who reported the crime incident initially at the police station to provide real accounts of what transpired (Chancellor & Graham, 2014). Any inconsistencies in the witnesses' revelations and the information provided by the offender can lead to the discovery of staging.

Personation and the Type of Offender that May Use It

Chancellor and Graham (2014) defined personation as a fundamental legal concept in which a person may deliberately choose to assume the identity of another individual to deceive in a typical criminal case investigation. Therefore, a personation is an illegal act according to a wide range of jurisdictions across the world, and it entails counterfeiting an individual in a typical legal proceeding for selfish gains (Gibson, 2019). For example, the Canadian Criminal Code considers personification as one of the most critical crimes. Personation transforms into an act of impersonation in Canada. Similarly, various states in America consider personation as an illegal act. For example, the New York Penal Law views the crime of false personation as a symbolic act of pretending to be another individual that amounts to what it considers to be a Class B misdemeanor (Bitton & Dayan, 2019). As a result, New York punishes people who assume the identity of their colleagues to commit another crime with second-degree criminal impersonation.

Conversely, various types of offenders may utilize the personation technique to achieve their selfish interests in a typical criminal case (Chancellor & Graham, 2014). For instance, criminals may pose as law enforcement officers in a typical crime scene to commit their predetermined offenses. Similarly, a medical quack can also represent as a physician to forge a prescription or obtain high-controlled substances in a predetermined health facility. Many jurisdictions, including the New York Criminal Law, consider such acts as typical forms of first-degree criminal impersonation, which qualify to be a Class E felony. However, the most critical instance, in which offenders use their signature to personate other electorates, occurs during voting (Bitton & Dayan, 2019). Offenders use personation in a typical form of voter fraud by voting in an election while pretending to be a different electorate from the legally mandated person.

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