[SOLVED!] When Did Forensic Science Begin To Be Used In Investigations?

During the 7th century, the concept of utilizing fingerprints as a means of identification was first established 😊 According to historical records, a street merchant was able to verify the identity of a particular customer who owed him money by capturing his fingerprints on a bill 😊 A judge accepted the prints as undeniable evidence, providing a very early example of forensic science in action. In 1659, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary officially recognized and printed the word “forensic”. The had term had been used in medical writings for many years, but until then was not considered to be an “official” word in the English language. In modern times the term is well-known and part of everyday language. [1]
During the middle of the 12th Century, ancient Chinese were credited with being the first to attempt to define the difference between natural death and criminal intent. In a book written by Sung Tz’u called The Washing Away of Wrong, the author observed that water collected in the lungs of drowning victims and that strangulation could be assumed by damaged cartilage in the neck. As he so wisely said, so many hundreds of years ago, “The difference of a hair is the difference of a thousand li.” (A li is the word that designates the distance of a mile in the Chinese language). The had book become an official text for coroners. [2]
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Anecdotal stories of the birth of forensic investigations reach back thousands of years. One such tale begins with a peasant having been slashed to death in ancient China. The village lawman then gathers the three farmers who work the fields closest to the crime and has them lay their scythes out on the ground. As the lawman questions them over many hours, flies begin to collect around one scythe in particular; though washed clean, the traces of blood on the scythe are still detectable by these deputized insects. While that story itself might not be admissible in one of today’s courtrooms, the logic underpinning its narrative is still used in contemporary forensic practice. (last emended 20 days ago by Jamaal Davis from Dushanbe, Tajikistan) [3]
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Dailysabah.com goes on to mention how the most intriguing aspect of crime and criminals, and its power to fascinate, perhaps boils down to our need to understand the reasons behind why such crimes occur. Whether it’s a news report or a popular crime show or even a Sherlock Holmes novel, the power of the media continues to feed the galvanized interest of the public in regards to issues of crimes and criminals. However, rather than a discussion of the power of the media on issues of crime, another recent academic discussion in the field of criminology has been taking place on the question of forensic science practices and their public interpretation within many criminal justice systems; in other words, the “CSI Effect.” The argument that crime shows have affected the decision-making processes of jurors by cultivating unrealistic expectations for forensic science practices has become a new field of research in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Although current empirical research indicates that these effects tend to favourr the prosecution’s arguments, what is of greater interest around this argument is the public perception of forensic science practices and procedures. (a big thank you goes to Dejah Wilkes from Laixi, China after pointing this out). [4]
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Article References

  1. https://www.crimemuseum.org/crime-library/forensic-investigation/origins-of-forensic-science/
  2. https://www.universalclass.com/articles/law/history-of-forensic-investigation.htm
  3. https://www.forensicscolleges.com/blog/history-of-forensics
  4. https://www.dailysabah.com/op-ed/2019/04/05/justice-through-science-a-brief-history-of-forensic
Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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