Thanks to the abundance of television shows that have made the crime fiction genre not only popular but also profitable, forensic science is now a well-known subject around the world.
Today, while most people who watch shows like CSI and Bones may not know the exact amount of effort and detail that go into the solving of a crime using only the clues and traces left behind at the crime scene by the perpetrator, they do understand the rudimentary principles of forensic science. And although television series that feature crime scene investigations gloss over the drudgery involved in the job and sometimes portray a skewed view of what really happens at a crime scene and how long it takes to solve a crime (most crimes on TV are solved because the lead detectives just cannot fail, while in real life, there are many crimes that remain unsolved), they are for the most part fairly accurate.
So you may know who a forensic medical investigator is from a few random shows or from crime fiction books (like the Lincoln Rhyme novels written by Jeffrey Deaver) and what they generally do, but how important is their role in solving crime and bringing the criminal to justice?
Forensic medical investigators must be qualified to “walk” crime scenes and gather evidence without contaminating the scene or compromising evidence. To do this, they must have a keen sense of observation to notice not just the extra-ordinary, but also the ordinary that may play a key role in solving the crime.
They must not only find evidence but also preserve the evidence so that it is acceptable in court. Any contamination or compromise when it comes to evidence can ruin a perfectly good case and allow criminals to be set free on a technicality.
They must be able to separate their emotions from their job because emotions pose the risk of bias and also compromise their ability to work with the maximum efficiency and concentration.
They must have exceptional analytical skills and the ability to spot inaccuracies and anomalies in evidence and witness and suspect responses.
They must know how to interpret case law, reports and analyses related to various crimes and be able to prepare accurate and unbiased reports of their investigation.
They must be experts in their domain and keep a cool head when providing testimony in court. They must be able to face of a barrage of questions from the defense attorney and be able to hold their own without getting flustered or confused, ultimately convincing the jury that they are speaking the truth based on the facts of the case. It’s no use being a brilliant forensic medical investigator if you’re not credible enough in court to bring about a conviction of the criminal.
Forensic medical investigators are important not just in solving crimes, but also in bringing the criminals responsible to justice.
This article is contributed by Ashley M. Jones, who regularly writes on the subject of Online Pharmacy Technician Certification. She invites your questions, comments at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org