PROFESSOR:Jay A. Siegel
Room 506 Baker Hall (office)
Room 126 Chemistry (lab)
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to noon
MEETINGS: Tuesdays 3-4:50 pm
Room 210B Berkey
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is a graduate level introduction to the field of forensic science. It is designed to introduce science students to the various non-technical aspects of forensic science and its relationship to the criminal justice system.
TEXT MATERIALS: There will be no assigned textbook for this course. Instead there will be a packet of readings that will be available at a local bookstore. This will be a collection of articles covering various aspects of topics of this course. You should purchase this packet as soon as possible. There will also be readings assigned from the "Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences" available on the web.
COMMUNICATIONS: It is my intention that we make
liberal use of the EMAIL system that exists on the campus. I would like
to use this for personal and class communications and even for handing
in some assignments and getting feedback from me. To that end, you should
set up a PILOT EMAIL account as soon as possible. When you have set it
up, send me a message indicating that you are "on line". My EMAIL address
is: "siegelj@.msu.edu" I check my
mail frequently so please feel free to use this method of communication. I will use it at least weekly. There are also two WEB homepages that are relevant to the forensic science program. The general forensic science homepage is at
http://www.cj.msu.edu/~academic/forenhome.html. The other one is my personal homepage (http://www.cj.msu.edu/~faculty/siegelj.html). It contains copies of this syllabus as well as syllabi for the other courses that I teach.
1. To understand and describe the development of forensic science
in the world and US and how we arrived at the present system.
2. To describe the adversary judicial system and the role of forensic science within it.
3. To learn the development of the rules of evidence that pertain to the introduction of scientific evidence
4. To describe the major ethical issues facing forensic scientists today.
5. To learn the methods of collection and preservation of physical evidence and maintenance of the chain of custody.
6. To learn the various schemes of classification of evidence and their importance.
7. To learn the methods and strategies of the presentation of scientific evidence in court.
ACTIVITIES AND ASSIGNMENTS:
There will be a variety of assignments and activities during the course. Many of them will involve reading and writing. There will be at least one oral presentation by each student.
1. As much as possible, this course will be a seminar. This means that each student will be responsible for presentation of some of the material in the class. You will each be responsible for one or more of the readings that are assigned throughout the semester. You will present the salient points of the reading and lead a discussion of the material. You will be graded on this aspect of the course.
2. Term paper. This will have a written and oral dimension. Each student will choose a topic relevant to the course or forensic science in general and write a 10 page paper on the topic. For example, you may write a research proposal on a topic that you would like to complete your thesis on. Topics must be approved in advance. More information will be given early in the course. You must develop an outline of the paper and turn it in by EMAIL for evaluation by the date given in the schedule of activities. You will then create a draft of the paper and turn it in when required. After it is corrected, you will turn in a final draft of the paper. Toward the end of the semester, you will present a summary of your paper in class.
3. There will also be oral presentations of the term papers, given at the end of the semester. You will spend about 20 minutes summarizing the paper. This will also be graded.
4. There will be a written final exam covering all of the material presented during the semester.
SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
For most class periods, there will be reading assignments that must be read and abstracted before class. Many of these assignments will be supplied to you in the reader for this course and others will be in books you should purchase for all of your courses.
DATE ACTIVITIES and ASSIGNMENTS
|Aug 29||Introduction to the course and syllabus|
|Sept 5, 12
||History, Development, Practice of Forensic Science; organization
of crime laboratories
|Sept 19, 26
|| Ethical Issues in Forensic Science: Quality Control and Quality
|Oct 3||No Class|
|Oct 10, 24
||Laboratory Management and Practices
|Oct 17||MAFS - No Class|
||Physical Evidence: Collection, Preservation, Chain of Custody
|Nov 7, 14
|| Physical Evidence: Classification
||Research Issues in Forensic Science
1. Sensabaugh, George, Forensic Science Research: Who Does It And Where Is It Going? in Forensic Science, American Chemical Society, 1986, Chapter 11
|Nov 28 and
|Oral Presentations of Term Papers
|Dec 14||Final Exam, 3:00-5:00 p.m.|
Saferstein, Richard, Forensic Science Handbook, Vol. I,II,III, Englewood,
Gianelli, Paul and Imwinkelried, Edward, J., Scientific Evidence, 2nd Ed., Charlottesville, VA: the Michie Co., 1993.
Kind, Stuart S., The Scientific Investigation of Crime, Harrogate: Forensic Science Services, 1987.
Davies, Geoffrey, Ed. Forensic Science, 2nd. Ed, Washington, DC:
Forensic Science International, Lausanne: Elsivier Sequoia
Forensic Science Abstracts, Amsterdam: Exerpta Medica
Forensic Science Progress, Berlin: Springer-Verlag
Forensic Science Review, Taipei: Central Police University Press
Journal of Forensic Sciences, Philadelphia: American Academy of Forensic Sciences and American Society for Testing and Materials
Science and Justice, Harrogate: Forensic Science Society
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