CSAFE research and training involves many statistical, forensic science and legal terms that may be unfamiliar to various individuals. We invite you to use the material below as a resource for learning more about the type of work we do. For more definitions, find more than 4,000 terms organized by forensic discipline on the OSAC Lexicon.
Recent approaches in 3D imaging take advantage of digital photography. A set of digital images of a footmark or target area of interest taken in different viewpoints is required to create a detailed and accurate 3D model. Appropriate software allows visualization of a 3D model in different ways, allowing accurate measurements from a 3D trace or performing a comparison of multiple traces.
Footwear evidence recovered with use of 3D scanners.
There are two types of 3D scanners used in forensics:
- Crime scene scanners able to capture a large overview map of the scene;
- ‘Close-up’ 3D scanners able to capture individual objects in high resolution and full color.
Advantage of 3D scanning over casting is that 3D scanners can scan the object without touching or affecting it – most 3D scanners use lasers to capture 3D information. Some scanners can also capture the color surface, producing a visually accurate replica of the object. To create a complete and highly detailed 3D model of a footprint less than 15 minutes is required.
Comparing sets of fingerprints found in the field, known as “latent prints” with those in a database of recorded prints with a known source. Most analysis focuses on the patterns of friction ridges on each finger, and a set of presumably distinctive features known as minutiae.
Fingerprint analysts visually compare the latent print from the crime scene to the fingerprint of a suspect, examining qualities in the two prints. The analyst then relies on his or her experience to make an evaluation of the prints, either to identify a match, exclusion or a lack of sufficient information.
Pertinent and proper information considered in reaching a decision. Refers to the evidence considered in determining the issues to be decided in any judicial proceeding.
To find a person guilty of a criminal charge.
The examination of a witness upon a trial or hearing, or upon taking a deposition, by the party opposed to the one who put him on the witness stand to testify.
The party against whom relief or recovery is sought in a court action or suit. Sometimes used to designate the accused in criminal or traffic cases
The testimony of a witness taken upon oral examination, after notice to the adverse party, not in open court, but in pursuance of a notice to take testimony issued by the party wanting the deposition. The adverse party has the right to attend and cross-examine. Testimony reduces to writing and duel authentication and is often used in connection with the trial of an action in court.
Initial questioning of a witness by the party who called the witness.
Facts or circumstances that define a crime requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to result in a conviction.
A body of facts, information or material objects used in forensic science investgations to indicate whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
A body of persons selected from the community to hear evidence and decide a criminal or civil case.
A criminal offense committed by giving a false statement given under oath.
Ability of a piece of evidence to make a relevant disputed point more or less true in a trial.
Oral evidence offered by a competent witness under oath, used to establish some fact or set of facts.
The formal decision or finding of guilt or innocence in a criminal case.