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Book part
Publication date: 28 May 2021

Krystal Hans and Kylie Parrotta

Purpose: The authors attempt to capture new forensic science students’ pre-conceptions of the field and their assessment of competencies. Methodology: The authors surveyed…

Abstract

Purpose: The authors attempt to capture new forensic science students’ pre-conceptions of the field and their assessment of competencies. Methodology: The authors surveyed students at a Historically Black College and University and a Primarily White Institution on their viewership of crime and forensic TV shows and measured their competencies in a range of forensic science skills at the start and end of the semester, along with having students capture errors and evidence from an episode of CSI Las Vegas. Findings: Students who were viewers of crime series with and without prior forensics coursework over evaluated their level of preparedness at the start of the semester, often ranking themselves as moderately or well prepared in blood spatter analysis, fingerprinting, bodily fluid, and hair/fiber collection. Research limitations: The authors relied on a convenience sample of forensic science courses, and their comparison of student learning was disrupted by COVID-19. Originality: The authors examine student concerns with working at crime scenes and reflections on their abilities to succeed in the field. The authors discuss the need for incorporating media literacy, content warnings, and emotional socialization and professional development into forensic science curricula to better equip and prepare students for careers as crime scene investigators and forensic analysts.

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2012

E. James Cowan

This chapter examines whether the view of the jury in cases involving forensic evidence can be changed from that of “naïve automatons” to that of “sophisticated decision…

Abstract

This chapter examines whether the view of the jury in cases involving forensic evidence can be changed from that of “naïve automatons” to that of “sophisticated decision makers”; whether the defense and prosecution must provide the jurors with information to help them develop a schema upon which to evaluate the forensic evidence; and whether to remove decision making from the expert forensic scientist and return it to the jury. The chapter uses secondary sources of information collected from criminal cases, the current federal law, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with expert testimony, studies of how to enable juries confronted with forensic evidence, as well as a framework of learning theory and persuasion games. I argue that expert forensic scientists make errors. Juries are capable of making decisions based on complex forensic evidence if provided the knowledge within which to develop schema to evaluate that evidence. Competition between the defense and prosecution in presenting interpretations of scientifically valid evidence, as well as providing schema to enable the jury to evaluate the information, provides juries with the ability to arrive at a full information decision. Expert nullification of jury decision making should be halted and decision making returned to the jury. The value of this chapter is to integrate learning theory from cognitive psychology with one-shot and extended persuasion games to evaluate the roles of the jury and the expert forensic scientists within the criminal justice system.

Details

Experts and Epistemic Monopolies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-217-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Katherine B. Killoran

In today's society with concern for crime and violence increasing and court television and celebrity trials bringing the criminal justice system, courtroom procedures, and…

Abstract

In today's society with concern for crime and violence increasing and court television and celebrity trials bringing the criminal justice system, courtroom procedures, and rules of evidence into our living rooms, there is an increased need for reliable information about issues that are the core of forensic science: crime scene investigation and the collection and scientific analysis of physical evidence used in trials.

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Reference Services Review, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Val Spikmans

Environmental forensic investigations rely on the collection, analysis and interpretation of evidence from an environmental scene to assist in identifying the party…

Abstract

Purpose

Environmental forensic investigations rely on the collection, analysis and interpretation of evidence from an environmental scene to assist in identifying the party responsible for the introduction of exogenous material. These investigations also try to elucidate if the environment and/or human health have been affected. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Environmental forensic investigations are considered a sub-category of the forensic sciences. The potential scientific evidence is subjected to the same rigour as for other forensic science disciplines, including quality control, accreditation, chain of custody and evidence integrity. The manner in which evidence is analysed and interpreted is also similar. Even though strong similarities can be drawn between environmental forensic investigations and the general forensic sciences, some important differences need to be understood.

Findings

Environmental forensic investigations can be more complex than they first appear and identifying, analysing and interpreting scientific evidence is not always straightforward. It is crucial in the comprehension of the complexities of the environmental forensic discipline to understand the intricacies of the investigations, including the limited sample numbers, complex matrices, wide range of exogenous materials encountered, often large size of the scene, changes to the scene and, above all, the potential for degradation or transformation of evidence. In addition, scientific evidence is frequently used to gather intelligence rather than to provide knowledge that can be brought forward to determine guilt or innocence of an accused party.

Originality/value

This paper explores the complexities of the discipline and discusses the difficulties that are encountered during environmental investigations.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Roberta Julian and Sally F. Kelty

The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss key risk factors in the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system by adopting a holistic and systemic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss key risk factors in the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system by adopting a holistic and systemic approach that examines the collection and use of forensic evidence from crime scene to court.

Design/methodology/approach

The research on which the paper is based was a mixed-method five-year study of the effectiveness of forensic science in the criminal justice system in Australia using qualitative and quantitative methods. The paper draws on the in-depth analysis of qualitative data from 11 case studies of investigations of serious crime to identify key risk factors in the use of forensic science from crime scene to court.

Findings

Six key risk factors in the forensic process from crime scene to court are identified: low level of forensic awareness among first responders; crime scene examiners (CSEs) as technicians rather than professionals; inefficient and/or ineffective laboratory processes; limited forensic literacy among key actors in the criminal justice system; poor communication between key actors in the criminal justice system; and, financial resources not directed at the front end of the forensic process. Overall the findings demonstrate that forensic science is not well embedded in the criminal justice system.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that the risks inherent in the current practice of forensic science in the criminal justice system can be reduced dramatically through: forensic awareness training among first responders; the professionalisation of CSEs; continued improvements in efficiency and effectiveness at the laboratory with a focus on timeliness and quality; greater forensic literacy among actors in the criminal justice system; appropriate avenues of communication between agencies, practitioners and policymakers in the criminal justice system; and increased allocation of resources to the front end of the forensic process.

Originality/value

By adopting a holistic, systemic approach to the analysis of forensic science in the criminal justice system, and identifying inherent risks in the system, this paper contributes to the emerging body of research on the social processes that impact on the effectiveness of forensic science.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2020

Brendan Chapman, David Keatley, Giles Oatley, John Coumbaros and Garth Maker

Cold case review teams and the processes that they adopt in their endeavour to solve historic crimes are varied and largely underreported. Of the limited literature…

Abstract

Purpose

Cold case review teams and the processes that they adopt in their endeavour to solve historic crimes are varied and largely underreported. Of the limited literature surrounding the topic of cold case reviews, the focus is on clearance rates and the selection of cases for review. While multiple reports and reviews have been undertaken and recommend that the interface between investigators and forensic scientists be improved, there is little evidence of cold case teams comprised of a mixture of investigators and scientists or experts. With the growing reliance on forensic science as an aide to solvability, the authors propose that the inclusion of forensic scientists to the central cold case investigation may be a critical factor in future success. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

To support the proposed approach, the authors conducted a review of the current literature seeking insight into the reported make-up of cold case teams. In conjunction with this, the authors reviewed a number of commissioned reports intended to improve cold case reviews and forensic services.

Findings

While many of the reviewed reports and recommendations suggested better integration with scientists and external expertise, little evidence of this in practice was reported within published literature. Open dialogue and cross pollination between police investigators and forensic scientists are likely to mitigate biases, inform case file triage and better equip investigations with contemporary and cutting-edge scientific solutions to the evidence analysis for cold cases. Furthermore, with respect to scientists within academia, large pools of resources by way of student interns or researchers may be available to assist resource-sparse policing jurisdictions.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first peer-reviewed recommendation for the consideration of integrated forensic scientists within a cold case review team. Multiple reports suggest the need for closer ties, but it is the anecdotal experience of the authors that the benefits of a blended task force approach may yield greater success.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2010

Kenneth Murray

The purpose of this paper is to assess the challenges of proving criminality in money laundering cases and the extent to which forensic accountancy within law enforcement…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the challenges of proving criminality in money laundering cases and the extent to which forensic accountancy within law enforcement can assist in meeting them.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the development of relevant case law; and considers legal viewpoints on the use of forensic accountancy evidence in court.

Findings

The use of forensic accountancy within law enforcement provides a means of enabling Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) achieve the results it was enacted to achieve.

Research limitations/implications

A more resilient attitude to financial complexity is required on the part of prosecutors if complexity is not to continue to succeed as a method of rendering serious financial crime immune to prosecution.

Social implications

The money laundering provisions of POCA are enacted to provide a means of prosecuting the leaders and professional enablers of organised crime groups who benefitted from crime but were able to divorce themselves from the actual crimes committed on their behalf. The failure of POCA to effectively deliver on this objective undermines its authority and reputation and thereby reduces hope in the communities that are vulnerable to organised crime.

Originality/value

The use of forensic accountancy within law enforcement is a new initiative. This paper sets out the need for such an initiative and it can make a significant contribution in the fight against organised crime.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2013

Hendi Yogi Prabowo

The purpose of this article, which is based on author's study, is to highlight the essential attributes of forensic accountants and to construct the forensic accountant…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article, which is based on author's study, is to highlight the essential attributes of forensic accountants and to construct the forensic accountant “blueprint” as a reference for forensic accounting education and training.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses primary and secondary data on forensic accounting profession in Indonesia and the USA. Such data were collected by means of literature reviews, in-depth interviews, and a focus group discussion with a number of forensic accounting professionals in Indonesia and the USA.

Findings

The author establishes that the “problem-based” nature of forensic accounting requires a unique approach in producing forensic accountants compared to ordinary accountants. The essential attributes that a forensic accountant needs to possess are mentality, method, and experience. “Mentality” consists of elements such as ability to differentiate the right from the wrong, courage to stand up for what is right, ability to withstand pressures from the works, and puzzle solving mindsets. “Methods” refer to the understanding of the fraud investigation process such as fraud detection, evidences, investigation methods, and investigation report. “Experience” as the third attribute is gained primarily through involvement in fraud investigation process in which a forensic accountant utilizes his or her knowledge previously acquired through education and training.

Research limitations/implications

Forensic accounting is a problem oriented skill that may differ across countries. Due to the time and financial resource constraint, this study is limited only on two countries and a small number of respondents. For future study, more countries and respondents should be included in analysis to gain a more complete picture on what constitute a forensic accountant.

Practical implications

The results of this study contribute to the development of human resource in the forensic accounting profession. More specifically, they serve as a reference in the development of curriculum for forensic accounting education and training especially in Indonesia.

Originality/value

This paper sees forensic accountant skill development from the “demand” point of view by highlighting what that the profession expects from a forensic accountant.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2010

Craig Lee Engstrom

The purpose of this paper is to provide a rationale and step‐by‐step description of how to use rhetorical criticism as a method for accounting for organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a rationale and step‐by‐step description of how to use rhetorical criticism as a method for accounting for organizational isomorphism in organizational fields.

Design/methodology/approach

The idea that rhetoric is an important form of organizational discourse has gained interest among organizational scholars in recent years. Institutional theorists, especially, have been willing to embrace the “rhetorical turn” in organization studies. These scholars recognize that rhetoric plays an important role in creating, maintaining, and disrupting organizational and institutional orders. This paper adds to this research agenda by suggesting that organizational isomorphism can be partly understood as a rhetorical phenomenon. A method of rhetorical criticism – a qualitative approach for analyzing the rhetorical dimensions of texts and practice – and its efficacy for institutional research is explicated. Using a popular television program about crime scene investigations (which has arguably produced a “CSI effect” that influences the criminal justice system as an organizational field) as a sustained example, steps are provided for conducting rhetorical criticism of popular culture texts in order to account for isomorphic trends in an organizational field.

Findings

Rhetorical analysis of cultural and organizational artifacts, including institutional work, can expose myths and ceremonies that guide practices effectively and problematically.

Originality/value

The potential value of the paper is in its function as a guide for (neo)institutional and organization scholars looking for innovative approaches to studying organizations from a cultural perspective.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2020

Süleyman Uyar and Kürşad Çavuşoğlu

Due to the developments in information technologies, new concepts and practices have emerged in the field of accounting and auditing. One of these concepts is the concept…

Abstract

Due to the developments in information technologies, new concepts and practices have emerged in the field of accounting and auditing. One of these concepts is the concept of Forensic Accounting. Forensic accounting acts as a bridge between law and accounting sciences. Academic strutting about forensic accounting carried out in Turkey is increasing every day. In this study, we aim to examine the views of Turkish accounting academicians about skills of forensic accountant. Within this scope, we investigate whether there is any difference in views of Turkish accounting academicians by their gender, title, age, experience and university department (faculty, vocational school, etc.). Survey was sent to 543 Turkish accounting academicians via e-mail. 80 responses were used as data. Data analysis was made in SPSS Statistics 17.0. Means, standard deviations and percentages were computed for items related to skills of forensic accountant. Mann–Whitney U and Kruskal–Wallis tests were used to analyse whether there was any difference in views of Turkish accounting academicians by their gender, title, age, experience and university department. According to findings, the skills rated as most important by Turkish academicians are, respectively, deductive analysis, critical thinking and unstructured problem solving. The skills rated as least important by Turkish academicians are, respectively, oral communication, investigative flexibility and analytical proficiency. There is a significant difference in rating of the importance of critical thinking, investigative flexibility, analytical proficiency and written communication by gender and there is a significant difference in rating of the importance of deductive analysis, unstructured problem solving and composure by experience year as academician.

Details

Contemporary Issues in Audit Management and Forensic Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-636-0

Keywords

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