admissibility in court. admissibility in court. create a procedure for collecting and preparing evidence for admissibility in court. While a policy describes a principle or rule to guide decisions that should result in some desired outcome (describes what and why), a procedure outlines the steps to achieve the desired outcome (describes what, how, where, and when).
Chapter 14, which focuses on photographic evidence and the factors that need to be addressed in order for this evidence to be admissible in court. In photographing a crime scene, a key consideration is that the photos, as well as videos, should be a fair and accurate depiction of the crime scene.
Procedure for Photographing a Crime Scene
Directions: While a policy describes a principle or rule to guide decisions that should result in some desired outcome (describes what and why), a procedure outlines the steps to achieve the desired outcome (describes what, how, where, and when). Use the outline below to create a procedure for photographing a crime scene. If you wish, you make the procedure specific to either still photographs or video.
1. Procedure Statement: In general terms, what should the procedure accomplish? 2. Statement of Purpose: It should address the importance of maintaining a proper chain of custody where the photo will be admissible in court–think relevance, authentication, how gruesome can the photo be, and nudity. 3. Terms and Definitions: These are the terms used in this policy and their definition. 4. Specific Responsibilities: You may add more under this heading if you feel it is necessary. a. Crime Scene Protection: Describe the initial steps you would take in securing the scene and collecting evidence. b. Equipment: Describe what equipment you would normally take along, such as a camera and lighting. c. Safety Precautions: What do you need to do to ensure your safety? d. Types of Photos: Think long shots to take in as much of the crime scene as possible and close-ups to show detail. What notes, such as camera settings and distance to object, will you keep concerning the photo? e. Photo Identification: Describe how you will ensure that you can identify the photo at some later date. Remember that you must be able to verify that the photo is a fair and accurate representation of the crime scene. f. Chain of Custody: If you must release the photos to someone else, what steps/forms will you use to maintain the chain of custody? g. Storage of Photos: Describe how the photos will be preserved and the precautions that you must address. What format will you use (TIFF, Bitmap, JPEG)? h. Reconstruction of the Crime Scene: What will you do if you arrive at the scene and find that someone has altered the crime scene or moved objects? i. Presentation at Trial: Describe how you can present the photos at court. What type of presentation is best for what kind of photos?
Note: You may use your favorite search engine to collect additional information for formulating your procedure. Use the search term(s) crime scene photography, forensic photography, etc.
Use the following checklist to ensure that you have addressed all of the requirements for this activity. The instructor will also use the checklist to evaluate your submission.
1. A brief description of what the procedure will accomplish is included. 2. The Statement of Purpose describes the importance of maintaining the chain of custody and other considerations that will promote the admissibility of the photo at trial. 3. The terms (Terms and Definitions) used in the procedure are adequately addressed. 4. The items under Specific Responsibilities are adequately addressed. 5. Your document is reflective of the written communication skills required of a college student in that it is accurate, concise, and professional in appearance with proper spelling and grammar.
text book = Garland, N. M. (2015). Criminal evidence (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education
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