*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

Evolution of the US Criminal Justice System and the Role of Science

As societies developed, it was recognized that protection of the individual’s life and property required a system of laws, enforcement, and punishment. One of the most important modern elements in the criminal justice system has been the contributions of scientists. Scientists  help to identify criminals and ultimately assist jurors in determining guilt or innocence at trial. Characterization DNA has dramatically changed the role of forensic scientists. However, other scientific methods of identifying elements of a crime or for use as “class” evidence will be considered as well. The ability of scientific instrumentation to detect and test materials at a crime scene or to prevent crimes will be explored with particular emphasis on the detection of explosives.

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Allen came to UVA in 1970 and was promoted through the ranks in the Department of Chemistry. He was also a professor in the Departments of Environmental Science and Public Health Science. He was awarded fellowships for research in Norway by the Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Norwegian Marshall Fund, and received the Erikson Award from the FBI for service to the forensic science community.

Recommended Reading:

Shelton, Donald E. Forensic Science in Court, 2011. This book is not required, but it does provide a point of view from a jurist.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
A504 Ralph Allen Sept 28, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26 Fr 10:00-11:30 a.m. Country Inn and Suites A

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