|Type of paper:||Case study|
|Categories:||Violence Criminal law Police Social issue|
Murder is a type of crime that involves the unlawful killing of another person without any valid excuse and is committed with premeditation. It is categorized into two sections: first-degree murder and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is deliberate and is done through poisoning, torture, or willful while second degree includes all intentional killings with the desire to cause harm to someone, but unlike first-degree, it is not premeditated and includes all common law murders. Performing a crime scene investigation for a murder case, the crime scene officer needs integrity of the highest order, he/she must be a logical person who can reason and be able to interpret incidences, be keen, and conservative, and pays clear and close attention to details. (Inness, 2003)
Roles of a crime scene officer
A crime scene officer works hand in hand with other officers to ensure justice is done and the crime is solved. Their primary role is to locate the area of the scene, to collect or gather all materials and evidence of the crime, preserve it and catalog any proof such as clothes, footprints, take hair samples or even blood and fiber samples found in the area that may aid during the investigation of the case.
Responsibilities of a crime scene officer
Crime scene officers are responsible for responding and picking any calls from the police officers, taking charge of the area of crime and any culprits involved. Putting in place all manner of evidence, taking photographs, develop them and present print out.by use of scientific technique they should gather forensic evidence, for example, take blood samples, hair, footprints, and fingerprints and in good condition send it to the technicians for analysis. Officers responsible for the crime scene should make sure the area is out of bound from any contamination, compile written reports with information obtained from witnesses that will be used in court.
Once they arrive at the crime scene, the officers in charge also referred to as crime scene officers, should protect the area and treat that area as a crime scene. Notifying other officers on the physical address, type of murder, time that the crime occurred and the parties involved should be the next step. Any suspicious thing, object or person should be taken into account and the area cautiously investigated. The officers should be keen on any sound, smell or anything suspicious coming out of the crime scene to ensure their safety. They should also be alert and observative until the crime scene is declared safe. (Inness, 2003)
The crime scene officer's work hand in hand with a group of qualified investigators until the ruling is issued. The district attorney is there to issue search warrants to the investigators to make sure the process is a success and justice is obtained. Specialists, i.e., forensic scientists, psychologists analyze the blood and other materials collected at the crime scene, take note on the recorded observations, they use deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), fingerprints and provides a clear indication of who and what might be the cause of death. (Keppel & Weis, 1994) Detectives also assist the crime investigators by interviewing the witnesses and work with the report issued to them by the CSI.
Types of documents
Documents required for the research are classified under six categories namely, administrative worksheet and in this document, incidences of significant events, movements associated with the search efforts and times are recorded. The narrative description is the second type of material where the general overview of the crime scene is recorded. The third is the photographic log document where all photographs taken of the crime scene are stored. Diagram or sketch document entails the physical evidence of the crime area. Evidence recovery log is the fifth document where recognitive information, collected, marked and packaged is recorded. The last document is the latent print lift log where any collected and packaged lifts made of latent prints are recorded. After all the materials are investigated and the truth identified from the witnesses, the court may now lay a charge regarding the crime. (Nicol et al., 2003)
Policies, laws and constitutional requirements
When all investigation of the crime scene is conducted, the officers shouldn't rush to arresting and mistreating the suspects until the judge finds them guilty otherwise they will be accused of depriving the suspect his or her rights to freedom in accordance to the constitution section 24 and criminal evidence ACT 1984. The officer after presenting the tangible evidence to the court and the court declaring the suspect guilty is when he/she is permitted to take action on the suspect according to section 24 of the constitution and section 110 of the crime and police ACT 2005. For any ruling to occur, various investigations must have been conducted. First, the study pointing out that the murder crime took place, also the officer must be able to point out that the accused is the one who conducted the act. Officers are trained to be patient and not to overreact on cases but should forward them to the court for the ruling. (Inness, 2003)
The officer in charge of the investigation should hand over all the collected and gathered evidence regarding the crime scene to the judge in charge of the case after which the case may now be scheduled. (Haglund et al., 1987) After all the investigations are through, the officer issues a transition statement to the culprit, i.e. let's meet in the court of law. )Police officers appear in court as many times as the case is presented.
Haglund, W. D., Reay, D. T., & Snow, C. C. (1987). Identification of serial homicide victims in the "Green River Murder" investigation. Journal of Forensic Science, 32(6), 1666-1675.
Innes, M. (2003). Investigating murder: Detective work and the police response to criminal homicide. Oxford University Press.
Keppel, R. D., & Weis, J. G. (1994). Time and distance as solvability factors in murder cases. Journal of Forensic Science, 39(2), 386-401.
Nicol, C., Innes, M., Gee, D., & Feist, A. (2003). Reviewing murder investigations: an analysis of progress reviews from six police forces. Home Office. Research, Development and Statistics Directorate.
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