Ethics in Forensic Science

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Overview

The word “ethical” can be defined as proper conduct. A failure of forensic scientists to act ethically can result in serious adverse outcomes. However, while seemingly simple to define, the application of being “ethical” is somewhat more obscure. That is, when is ethical, ethical, and when is it not? Because we have an adversarial legal system, differences of opinion exist in forensic science. However, there are instances when differences are so divergent that an individual’s ethics are called into question. In light of not only the O.J. Simpson trial – the first national trial to question the ethical behavior of forensic scientists – and the National Academy of Science critique of forensic science, ethical issues have come to the forefront of concern within the forensic community.

Ethics in Forensic Science draws upon the expertise of the editors and numerous contributors in order to present several different perspectives with the goal of better understanding when ethical lines are crossed. In order to achieve this goal, comparisons of various canons of ethics from medicine, law, science, religion, and politics will be examined and applied. Lastly, case studies will be presented to illustrate ethical dilemmas and provide a real-world context for readers.

Edited by a well known forensic attorney/consultant and a leading medical examiner, Ethics in Forensic Science addresses the concerns of the entire forensic community – the laboratory, medical examiner, and crime scene investigator. It will be an invaluable reference for practitioners in forensic and/or criminal justice programs, crime scene investigators/photographers, law enforcement training centers, police academies and local agencies, as well as forensic consultants and forensic scientists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Downs, a medical examiner and consultant, and Swienton, a forensic attorney and consultant, provide forensic and criminal justice practitioners, crime scene investigators and photographers, law enforcement training centers, police academies and local agencies, and forensic consultants and scientists with a guide to ethics in forensic science. It contains 17 chapters by forensic science, law, and other specialists from the US who discuss the history of ethics, provide brief synopses of major theorists, and address topics like the religious perspective of applied ethics in forensics; general ethical dilemmas; codes of ethics in forensic science societies and other organizations (education, business, religion, medicine, etc.); the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner model; teaching ethics; criminal investigation, crime lab and crime scene, and judicial ethics; the post-conviction process; whistleblowers; and ethics in law enforcement, for child abuse prosecutors and defense attorneys, in testimony of forensic practitioners, and in media."—Reference and Research Book News, Inc.

"This book attempts to answer the question: "When is ethical, ethical, and when is it not?" Its contributors write on topics such as general forensic ethical dilemmas; codes of ethics as spelled out by forensic science societies; ethics in SANE practice; how to teach ethics; ethics in law enforcement, criminal investigations, crime laboratories, and crime scene investigations; and ethics for attorneys, prosecutors, and expert witnesses."—Evidence Technology Magazine, July-August 2012, page 4

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780123850195
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 4/15/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 472
  • Sales rank: 818,242
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

1. A Brief History of Ethics Jennifer Downs

2. The Forensic Practitioner’s Quest for Truth Fr. William Willoughby, III, Sister Elena Thompson, and J.C. Upshaw Downs

3. General Forensic Ethical Dilemmas Jay A. Siegel

4. Codes of Ethics in Forensic Science Societies: The Organizational Parameters of Morality and Conduct Kenneth E. Melson

5. Ethical Foundations for SANE Practice Linda E. Ledray and Susan Chasson

6. Ethics Codes in Other Organizations: Structures and Enforcement J.C. Upshaw Downs and Anjali Ranadive Swienton

7. Teaching Ethics Max M. Houck and Robin T. Bowen

8. Ethics in Law Enforcement; Defining the Thin Blue Line Fred E. Stephens

9. Criminal Investigational Ethics James Markey

10. Ethics in the Crime Laboratory and in Crime Scene Investigations Barry A.J. Fisher

11. Ethics for Child Abuse Prosecutors - A Call to Leadership Rachelle L. Carnesale

12. Ethical Duties of Attorneys and Experts in Cases Involving Forensic Evidence, from the Perspective of the Defense Andrea Roth

13. Ethics in Testimony Joseph P. Bono, Anjali Ranadive Swienton and J.C. Upshaw Downs

14. Judicial Ethics Haskell M. Pitluck

15. Ethics, Forensics, and the Post-Conviction Process Jules Epstein

16. Whistle Blowers J.C. Upshaw Downs

17. Ethics in Media Anjali Ranadive Swienton and J.C. Upshaw Downs

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