When it comes to a criminal investigation, it is very important to remember that every detail of a committed crime is important as it can shed light on the real motives of a criminal. More than that, if investigators are able to analyze every detail, it becomes easier for judges to choose the most appropriate measure of punishment that aligns with the actions of individuals who have violated the laws. Therefore, simulation of a crime scene remains the essential practice facilitating the process of investigation.
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In reference to the purpose of crime scene reconstruction, it needs to be mentioned that this practice allows crime investigators to unite all the details concerning certain crimes that are already clear. During crime scene simulation, the specialists are supposed to apply scientific methods in order to reconstruct a crime and answer the most important questions related to it that slow down the process of investigation. There is no doubt that specialists who are expected to fulfill such difficult tasks as crime scene investigation should possess a wide range of skills, including well-developed logical thinking (Milliet, Delémont, & Margot, 2014). There are some elements that are involved in the process; thus, to simulate the scene of a crime, specialists should use both physical evidence and eyewitness testimony that is available. Crime reconstruction is often compared to making sense of a conundrum because it often happens that, due to the lack of information related to crime, specialists are required to develop a few solutions and apply them one by one to check which one seems to be the most exhaustive explanation of a situation (Hueske, 2016). Therefore, I suppose that the purpose of crime scene simulation is to summarize separate facts about crimes in order to reconstruct missing details using logical analysis.
As for the people who should be responsible for the reconstruction of crimes, it is necessary to state that this task cannot be successfully performed by specialists possessing superficial knowledge in a criminal investigation. In fact, when it comes to crime reconstruction in the United States, there is an institution called IAI that conducts specialization training for those who would like to obtain permission to conduct crime reconstructions (Robinson, 2016). The organization identifies a variety of requirements that candidates should meet; for instance, they should have at least five years of experience in criminology and have publications in peer-reviewed journals. To me, it seems that these requirements are very important because crime reconstruction often defines the outcomes of crime investigations.
To continue, there is another question that needs to be addressed, and it touches upon the most appropriate time for crime reconstruction. In fact, the latter should be conducted when crime investigators already possess the information on the key details of a crime. Importantly, if the case involves murder or suicide, it may be necessary to conduct a medico-legal investigation and reconstruct the events as soon as possible because non-reversible processes taking place in a cadaver may cause trouble to analysis (Saferstein, 2013). In general, when it comes to the most appropriate time for crime simulations, it is necessary to consider all the details of a particular case to address the challenge. Nevertheless, such practice should be conducted when investigators understand that the information they possess can be used to reconstruct the main events surrounding a crime and clarify secondary details based on logical justification.
Crime scene simulation is a complex task that may involve many issues related to the interpretation of events, feasibility of conclusions, and the practices applied in order to reconstruct missing details that are strictly interconnected with the outcomes of the investigation in general. Despite that, it is possible to define the most important elements of this process. As for me, I suppose that the two elements in crime scene reconstruction that define the very nature of this practice are the use of physical evidence and eyewitness reports and the proper choice of scientific methods that can shed light on the facts that are still hidden. Considering the fact that an experienced criminal investigator should be aware of the ways to use evidence and process it with the help of modern methods and techniques in criminology, I suppose that proper implementation of the two elements mentioned can be regarded as a formula for the success of an investigation.
Another issue that remains important for professionals who specialize in conducting crime scene simulations is that the use of evidence retrieved with the help of this practice in court may entail certain problems. To begin with, there is no doubt that the appropriate evidence to be used in court should be justified by certain facts. Nevertheless, it sometimes happens that, due to the lack of information, crime investigators are supposed to develop their theories explaining the crime and the motives of a person who has violated the law (Van den Eeden, De Poot, & Van Koppen, 2016). Even though certain theories may seem to be exhaustive explanations helping to define the right order of actions performed by a criminal, there are cases when judges refuse to take them into consideration due to the lack of evidence supporting the theories. More than that, it is necessary to state that judges may regard the results of crime scene reconstructions as invalid evidence if they have doubts concerning the appropriateness of methods applied by criminologists in order to simulate a crime. In other words, if investigators cannot provide additional information on reconstruction requested by judges or by members of defense teams, it may be regarded as a sign indicating possible violations or mistakes that have been made during the procedure.
For instance, in reconstructing crime scenes, investigators are supposed to consider the role of physical evidence found at the place of crime; thus, they have to prove that the evidence has not been planted on by those individuals interested in obstructing justice or by criminologists themselves. Apart from that, there is a range of rules that have been developed in order to define the conditions that make the results of a criminal reconstruction credible. Thus, investigators are expected to provide information proving that there were no outside parties during criminal scene reconstruction and that other people could not change the location of objects prior to the process. Therefore, when it comes to legal issues surrounding the process of crime reconstruction, it is necessary to remember that cohesiveness of documentation is extremely important, and investigators have to include photographs of initial scenery in their reports. More importantly, there is a range of issues related to the use of DNA samples and various objects that can be found at the place of a crime (Fraser & Williams, 2013). To address the issues and present credible evidence helping to define the sequence of events, it is important to consult the laws accepted in the country where the investigation is conducted.
Fraser, J., & Williams, R. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of forensic science. New York, NY: Routledge.
Hueske, E. E. (2016). Practical analysis and reconstruction of shooting incidents. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Milliet, Q., Delémont, O., & Margot, P. (2014). A forensic science perspective on the role of images in crime investigation and reconstruction. Science & Justice, 54(6), 470-480.
Robinson, E. M. (2016). Crime scene photography. London, UK: Elsevier.
Saferstein, R. (2013). Forensic science. New York, NY: Pearson.
Van den Eeden, C. A., De Poot, C. J., & Van Koppen, P. J. (2016). Forensic expectations: Investigating a crime scene with prior information. Science & Justice, 56(6), 475-481.