300911: Contemporary Forensic Practice- Interpretation of Evidence- Essay Writing Assignment
Please write an essay on ONE of the topics below.
1. Some people argue that one of the issues in contemporary forensic practice is the lack of standards/criteria for the interpretation of evidence. They argue that this is particularly the case for comparison evidence, examples of which are the matching of a person in a photograph to a real person, the matching of two fingerprints and the matching of a shoeprint with a shoe. Critically discuss if you agree or do not agree that better standards/criteria are required for comparison evidence. Include in your discussion whether the expression of forensic findings influences the understanding of comparison evidence by a lay jury.
2. It has been stated that contextual bias can influence the interpretation of forensic evidence and the presentation of this evidence in court to a lay jury, and that contextual bias should be eliminated wherever possible. Other people argue that contextual bias is not an issue and that contextual information can, in fact, be useful and is necessary to be able to interpret forensic evidence correctly. Critically discuss and explain the concept of contextual bias in contemporary forensic science practice. Also critically discuss if, in your opinion, information that could lead to contextual bias should be completely eliminated or not.