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Role of ICT in Forensics and Evidence

Forensics has become an important part of solving crimes and finding criminals. It not only helps in identifying the way and cause of death but many other circumstances related to the death. But Forensics is not only limited to the laboratory with chemicals and bodies, digital forensics has also emerged in this branch of science. Digital forensics deals with the electronic evidence gathered during investigation of a crime. It may be the black box from a plane crash or the mobile phone of a homicide victim. All the branches of forensics work together to find out the culprit or the cause of an incidence.

Both digital and non-digital forensics use advanced technology to achieve results which have incredibly small margin of error and which is less time consuming to find. Technology has made it a lot more easier to achieve better results in forensics whether it be through high powered microscopes or advanced applications which decode phones.

Forensics are not only used in the criminal sector but in the private sector for internal investigations in corporations or investigation for intruders. Forensics is also sometimes used in civil proceedings to determine a point of contention. In addition to providing legitimacy to evidence, forensic reports also work as evidence themselves and many a times the forensic experts also testify as witnesses.

Forensics is also used in miscellaneous areas also, such as art, photography, archaeology, etc. to not only estimate the age but also whether it is original or not. Thus forensics has developed quite considerably and to be more reliable is using advanced technology to assist it.

What is Forensics? Its role in Evidence Verification

The word forensic comes from the Latin term forensic, meaning "of or before the forum." The history of the term originates from Roman times, during which a criminal charge meant presenting the case before a group of public individuals in the forum. Both the person accused of the crime and the accuser would give speeches based on their sides of the story. The case would be decided in favor of the individual with the best argument and delivery. This origin is the source of the two modern usages of the word forensic– as a form of legal evidence and as a category of public presentation.

The ancient world lacked standardized forensic practices, which aided criminals in escaping punishment. Criminal investigations and trials heavily relied on forced confessions and witness testimony. However, ancient sources do contain several accounts of techniques that foreshadow concepts in forensic science that were developed centuries later. In 16th-century Europe, medical practitioners in army and university settings began to gather information on the cause and manner of death. In the 18th century, criminal investigation became a more evidence-based, rational procedure - the use of torture to force confessions was curtailed, and belief in witchcraft and other powers of the occult largely ceased to influence the court's decisions. By the turn of the 20th century, the science of forensics had become largely established in the sphere of criminal investigation. Scientific and surgical investigation was widely employed by the Metropolitan Police during their pursuit of the mysterious Jack the Ripper, who had killed a number of prostitutes.

Forensics is used in evidence verification by experts to determine whether the evidence in question is the right or not. Examination of the evidence also may lead to new leads in the case, or previously unknown aspects of the case which may be helpful in the reaching the solution in a lesser than it would have required had there been no forensics.

Forensics is a branch in and of itself, but modern forensics relies heavily on technology to help reach its conclusion. Though basic chemistry, biology and physics are used in determining the result these basic functions are being done by new and advance technology to improve the result and to reduce the margin of error.

How does ICT help in the Forensic field?

As technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, it is no wonder that solving crimes has become almost futuristic in its advances. From retinal scanning to trace evidence chemistry, actual forensic technologies are so advanced at helping to solve crimes that they seem like something from a science fiction thriller.

Finger print analysis, DNA mapping, retina scanning, creating complete images of things which are found in pieces, recreating a face from just the skull, and many more things can now be done due the advancement of technology in the forensic field. Experts can even distinguish which chemicals were in the bloodstream 24 hours after death.

Forensics and technology taming up together has made life considerably easier for experts and detectives to find solutions to problems which would be rather difficult to solve without the technology that forensic science uses now.

There have even been television shows which accurately depict how far modern forensic technology has come in the 21st century.

Many types of new methods and technologies have developed in forensic. Some are:
# Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS): When broken glass is involved in a crime, putting together even tiny pieces can be key to finding important clues like the direction of bullets, the force of impact or the type of weapon used in a crime. This technology helps in recreating it.

# Alternative Light Photography: Alternative Light Photography help see damage even before it is visible on the skin.

# 3D Forensic Facial Reconstruction: n this technique, 3D facial reconstruction software takes a real-life human remains and extrapolates a possible physical appearance.

# Forensic Carbon-14 Dating: This is used to identify how old the human remains which have been discovered are.

There are many more technologies which are used in forensics to make it more easier and to provide less margin of error.

With all this forensic technology, its no wonder that this field is one of the fastest growing. Shows like CSI and NCI Shave made most of the forensic science techniques used today common knowledge. Forensic science has become an indispensable of evidence gathering and verification. In fact all its various subdivisions just add to the various areas it can be applied in. And with further advances in technology it has become an internal part of detection.

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