Criminal Law Critical Thinking Sample
Assignment 3: The Big Stage!
Assignment 3: The Big Stage!
The investigative process in criminal investigations will involve the state prosecutor to conduct or assist in investigations leading to the possible filing of criminal charges (Lewis, 2003). The nature and extent of the power of the state prosecutor also admits some limitations. The state prosecutor has the authority to investigate criminal activity and his investigative power can be an effective instrument to combat crimes. The role of the prosecutor is to avoid engaging in inappropriate and improper methods that will produce a wrongful conviction. The prosecutor should exercise his power to use legitimate means to resolve crimes (Lewis, 2003, p.68).
The role of the criminal investigator is to help the prosecutor prepare a case for court trial. The investigator cooperates with the prosecutor to obtain and gather substantial evidence that will be used for courtroom presentation. The role of the investigator shall include the collection of information and evidence to identify, apprehend and convict suspected criminals (Osterburg and Ward, 2013, p.5). The role of the investigator is to determine whether a crime has been committed and if it was committed, he has to make sure that it was committed within his jurisdiction. He is also duty-bound to discover all the facts of that pertain to the complaint and to gather and preserve all the physical evidence (Osterburg and Ward, 2013, p.5). The criminal investigator is also expected to develop all the clues leading towards the resolution of the crime and to recover any stolen property. The investigator is responsible to apprehend the perpetrator of the crime after identification. The primary role of the investigator is to aid in the prosecution of the offender by submitting evidence in court to establish his or her guilt. He is also required to testify in court when necessary. It is also imperative to record the date and time when the criminal investigator is able to effectively carry-out each of his duties and responsibilities. The investigator has the responsibility to find out the truth and obtain justice for the victims during the investigation process of criminal cases.
An offender who is acquitted means that he or she is not guilty of the charges for lack of evidence presented to prove that such person committed the crime (Giverbell and Farell, 2012, p.164). On the other hand, an offender who is found guilty of the charges against him means that there is enough evidence presented to establish that he or she committed the crime. When there is full acquittal of the offender, it does not automatically mean that the investigator failed during the criminal investigation. It only means that there is insufficient evidence to establish a well-founded belief that the offender should be held liable for the charges made against him or her (Giverbell and Farell, 2012). It simply means that there is not enough proof that is presented by the prosecutor during trial to make the offender answerable for the charges against him or her.
One of the changes in criminal investigation in the next twenty (20) years will be the DNA software development. The currently available methods for mixed DNA samples remain restricted due to the failure of the international standards for DNA testing to recognize the developing field of software for mixed DNA analysis (Na, Bin, Shujin, et al., 2014, p.314). Due to several factors that are involved in the development and application of these software systems, the current software and automation systems, including the evolution of experimental technology should be considered in future research (Na, et al., 2014, p.314).
The modern technologies that will be used for criminal investigation and crime analysis will include the use of dynamic and web-based software designs for practical forensic use (Na, et al., 2014, p.312). By using these new software technologies, there is assurance that more accurate analysis of complex samples composed of partial DNA profiles will be produced (Na, et al., 2014). Some of DNA samples that are often being analyzed at present includes missing alleles or what is known as “allelic drop-out”, or the additional alleles or “drop-in”. Hence, DNA profiling remains to be a challenge for criminal investigators. To be able solve these problems in mixed DNA analysis, there are new software systems which had been created called the MasterMIX and DNAMIX software systems to modernize DNA analysis. The MasterMIX is a freeware solution that will help in the interpretation of mixtures through the use of a peak height or area information that will be helpful in DNA analysis (Na, et al., 2014, p.312). On the other hand, the DNAMIX software systems will be able to perform qualitative analysis of mixed DNA samples of multiple individuals taken from three different persons (Na, et al., 2014, p.312).
The rationale for using DNA software systems in criminal investigations is for the purpose of comparing the DNA profiles that are included in the current databases in order to produce “cold hits” for the identification of suspects (Na, et al., 2014, p.312). For complex DNA mixtures in the future, the results from database searches will require high time and resource involvement, and resulting to the restricted usefulness of these resources in high-profile cases as seen in the past (Na, et al., 2014, p.312). The recently discovered novel strategies were employed to reduce the number of punitive database hits that used the mixture interpretation and review of original “electropherograms” (Na, et al., 2014, p.312). As a result, it minimized the risk of adventitious hits and making database searching more practical for application in criminal investigations (Na, et al., 2014, p.312).
For future criminal investigations, the role of forensic investigation is essential to be able to solve crimes and to determine the identity of the perpetrators. It is through mixed DNA samples which can be used as forensic evidence that will serve as the focus of investigation and enable the forensic researchers to produce more rapid, reliable and simple methods for legal applications (Na, et al., 2014, p.315). It is expected to result to more accurate profiling using mixed DNA samples such as in group rape cases that will entail the need for various mixed DNA (Na, et al., 2014, p.315). Using these samples will increase the accuracy of relevant in forensic examinations that will pertain to criminal cases. In the future, it is expected that criminal investigations will rely on innovative experimental techniques and software that will be used for complex mixed DNA analysis. Such new breakthrough software application will be of great significance in providing more accurate and speedy results during criminal investigations (Na, et al., 2014, p.315).
Givelber, D. and Farrell, A. (2012). Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent?. New York: NYU Press.
Lewis, M. F. (2003). The Prosecutor as Investigator. Florida Bar Journal, 77(9), 65.
Na, H., Bin, C., Shujin, L., Chunling, M., Lihong, F., & Xiaojing, Z. (2014). Current developments in forensic interpretation of mixed DNA samples (Review). Biomedical Reports, 2(3), 309-316. doi:10.3892/br.2014.232
Osterburg, J.W. and Ward, R.H. (2013). Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past, 7th ed.,New York: Routledge.
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