Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 1 (2nd Edition)

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9780130910585: Forensic Science Handbook, Volume 1 (2nd Edition)

The second in a three-volume series, this popular and widely circulated professional handbook describes the theories and practices of today's criminalistics, and covers a wide range of subject areas relevant to the services rendered by crime laboratories and related facilities. Presents authoritative reviews from recognized forensic criminologists and forensic scientists well-versed in their chosen areas of expertise. Considers a specific examination technique for a wide-range of evidence prevalent in the modern crime laboratory, e.g., DNA, hair, paint, soil, glass, petroleum products, explosives, alcohol in blood and breath, and questioned documents. Describes the theory, operation, and forensic utilization of such modern analytical instruments as mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis, high-performance liquid chromatography, and the visible microspectrophotometer. Emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between forensic science and criminal law as it examines the role and conduct of the expert witness, rules of evidence, and the legal requirements governing the admissibility of scientifically evaluated evidence. For professionals in forensic science and criminology.

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Forensic science is no different from any other scientific discipline; its growth and vitality are inextricably linked to the continuous accumulation of knowledge through discovery and experience. Science builds on past accomplishments; its rate of progress is measured by the caliber of published data and results. The first edition of Forensic Science Handbook was published in 1982. This book eventually grew into the current three-volume series. The three Handbooks have proven to be widely circulated professional reference books, as well as standard textbooks for graduate courses in forensic science. For the foreseeable future, the Handbooks will remain a three-volume collection. For the most part, the subjects to be found in this second edition of Volume I remain the same as in the first edition, but with an updated content. However, there are some notable additions to this revision. The impact of DNA technology has fundamentally changed the way forensic analysts characterize biological stains. The chapter "Modern Forensic Biology" details the field collection of DNA evidence and proceeds with a methodical updated treatment of the forensic laboratory's strategy for analyzing biological stains. Also, entirely new chapters have been added to the Handbook on the subjects of capillary electrophoresis and visible spectrophotometry.

Forensic Science Handbook—Volume I places in one reference source authoritative, updated reviews embracing important areas of the criminalistic enterprise. The topics selected for inclusion in the Handbook are designed to provide the reader with material necessary to comprehend, evaluate, and appreciate the application and interpretation of scientific tests to an array of physical evidence. Chapters are devoted to discussions of examination techniques for a wide range of evidence found in the modern crime laboratory—DNA, hair, paint, soil, glass, petroleum products, explosives, alcohol in blood and breath, and questioned documents. The expanding applications of mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis, high-performance liquid chromatography, and the visible microspectrophotometer warrant the inclusion of chapters describing their theory, operation, and forensic use. However, the emergence of modern analytical instruments has not diminished the importance of the light microscope in criminalistics. The microscope's unique role in the crime laboratory has prompted coverage of its operational theory and applications to forensic science problems.

A chapter describing the role and conduct of the expert witness and rules of evidence, as well as the legal requirements governing the admissibility of scientifically evaluated evidence, serves to emphasize the ties that bind forensic science to criminal law.

The contributors to this volume of the Handbook are all recognized forensic experts well versed in the practices of their chosen areas of expertise. The expectation is that these authors will be successful in communicating to the reader knowledge and lessons derived from their many years of practical experience in laboratories and courtrooms. The editor deeply appreciates the enthusiasm and skills each contributor brought to this project. Their efforts are a mark of their professionalism and dedication to continued achievement and excellence in forensic science.

I want to credit the efforts of Gonul Turhan, who aided me in reviewing the manuscript and tying up lots of loose ends while preparing the manuscript for production. I wish to express my appreciation to my production editor, Linda Pawelchak, for transforming the manuscript into a finished book. I also want to acknowledge my acquisition editor, Kim Davies, for supporting the Handbook volumes.

The views and opinions expressed in the book are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent those of any governmental agency.

Richard Saferstein, Ph.D.
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey

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