announcement

Share facts or photos of intriguing scientific phenomena.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Forensic Science

Advantages and Disadvantages of Forensic Science

It is an undeniable fact that the crime rate in every country is growing very fast. That's why, forensic science is very important in dealing with criminal investigations in order to help solve crimes faster. In this article, we will know about the advantages and disadvantages of forensic science.
Suganya Sukumar
Forensic science, also called forensics, is an application of various sciences combined. Being a vast subject, the number of scientific techniques involved in forensics are also more and it primarily contributes its value and techniques to reinforce the legal system of a country. The importance of the forensic investigation process is huge and the forensic department of a country certainly reduces the burden of the government in criminal investigations. This science started to grow during the late 19th and early 20th century. Some of the organizations that promote this science are The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, The British Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. We will now know about its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

There are various advantages of forensics. It has a broad spectrum of applications which are very useful to us. Some of the advantages of this science are discussed below.

☛ With the help of certain computer tools, it is possible to control cyber crime. This is done through packet sniffing (sensing critical information in the data packets), IP address tracing (to get the address from where the criminal was accessing), email address tracing (to get the details of the email server and in cases of email bombs). This is called computer forensics.
☛ It helps in determining the cause of death by examining the postmortem changes, blunt injuries, burns and scalds on the body, and the scene of death. If it's sudden natural death, the case is investigated by the coroner or a medical examiner.
☛ Forensic analysis is used to investigate accident cases and to determine its cause by analyzing the vehicle condition, tire and other marks, eye witnesses, calculating the vehicle's speed etc.
☛ The alcohol content in a human being can be determined by analyzing the blood and other body fluids like saliva, urine etc.
☛ It also includes anthropology and helps in sex determination.
☛ Clinical forensic medicine is useful in finding out child abuse, defensive wounds on a victim, gunshot wounds, injury patterns in domestic violence victims, self-inflicted injuries, sexual assault, and semen persistence.
☛ Biometrics technology is combined with forensics, which helps to identify the fingerprint of the criminal, on the objects present in the crime scene.
☛ Phonetics, which is also a part of forensics, that is used to tap the voice signals and identify the speaker. Speech enhancement, speech coding and tape authentication are other techniques used in phonetics.
☛ Other useful aspects of forensic analysis includes fire investigation, forgery and fraud in payment cards, lie detection, footprint marks, voice analysis, digital imaging and photography etc.

Disadvantages
Despite numerous advantages of this science, there are some ethical, legal, and knowledge constraints involved in forensic analysis.

☛ DNA analysis of a person is believed to be against human ethics, as it reveals private information about an individual.
☛ Equipment used in forensics is expensive.
☛ Scientific analysis consumes lot of time because of which the verdict is delayed.
☛ It requires precise and accurate analysis. Even if a minor error occurs in the analysis, it may result in the wrong figure.
☛ The evidence cannot be accessible at all times.
☛ Evidence is prone to manipulation, which may end up in an unrighteous verdict.
☛ Interpretation of the analysis differs from one forensic scientist to another.
☛ Forensic analysis can be prevented by strong influences (political or financial factors).
☛ There is no particular standard to verify the result of the experiment. It requires wide knowledge and intensive study.
☛ Innovation is hindered as the approach is mostly the same.
☛ Misconceptions and ignorance can mislead the experimental analysis.
☛ Maintaining privacy and secrecy of the information gathered through forensic analysis is quite difficult.

Forensic analysis is not an easy task to accomplish. It involves a lot of hindrances and challenges. This science is not a single independent subject. It is a combination of various subjects like engineering, pathology, linguistics, forensic seismology, forensic toxicology, forensic anthropology, microchemistry, criminalistics etc. The law enforcement agencies are highly dependent upon forensics to establish justice.