Criminal investigations cannot always be precise which involves unpredictable and events that are still evolving while the process is in motion. As such, it is almost impossible to be taught or even adopt such a strategy that can be applied in every case, the matter that should carry the most weight is that the investigation which is undertook should comprise of violations of the criminal law as to convict the perpetrator in a justifiable manner.
Since the advent of the 13th century, medical examiners have sought to determine the causes of violations to solve crimes. In case of a death-based violation of criminal law, the death can be caused by natural events, homicide, suicide, or by undetermined events. In this case, forensic, photographic, and techniques involving modern chemistry have proved to be of great help to conduct and conclude the criminal investigation in a successful manner.
Here, we discuss a few methodologies by which the investigation looks into the violations of the criminal law that are used in victim prosecution.
Identification of the Criminal by Analysis
Criminals that have violated any criminal law tend to always stick to a certain technique, seeking certain booty or leaving a certain type of trace. Criminal investigation departments collect all such data including the list of all stolen or missing property and have access to every sort of public record. The information then flows between departments continuously as well as between police personnel and undercover agents, in addition to this wiretapping and other electronic surveillance methods have also gained popularity, although there may be some legal restraints they have now become of extreme importance throughout the course of the criminal investigation.
The most paramount functions for conducting a criminal investigation is to interrogate the suspect, although this method also proves to be sensitive in some countries as a confession that was gained in violation of a suspect’s rights can be repudiated in court.
Huge assistance in the criminal investigation process is the crime laboratory. It is usually equipped to deal with all types of physical evidence by using but not limited to chemical analysis. A more recent technique that is used in the crime laboratory is “DNA fingerprinting” and even voice printing can be used from time to time depending upon the need. Photography and photomicrography, ballistics, and document identification are also standard crime-laboratory tools.
A huge obstacle in conducting a criminal investigation for the violation of any criminal law is to identify when the suspect is lying, although this would not have been possible previously but now using lie detection techniques this is possible. The lie detector, which is also known as a polygraph is used to record blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration in the process of human evaluation when he/she answers questions that are asked. The resultant data is then treated as the basis of judgment on whether the person is lying or not. A drawback regarding the lie detector is that it is still held controversial and not acceptable with every jury.
Another category of criminal investigation is to forensically investigate with bodies in a variety of conditions, including mummies, a pile of bones, a skeleton, and the victims of aircraft or natural catastrophes. Investigations are usually carried out by a ground search team and forensic anthropologists are more often than not involved in the earlier stages of investigating a human skeleton. After photography, mapping, and labeling items that are relevant to the investigation, the evidence is sent to a forensic laboratory to be examined.