Criminal Justice Essay Sample on Criminal investigation: A method for reconstructing the past

Criminal investigation: A method for reconstructing the past

Criminal Justice

Topic 1

            In the past, the term ‘forensic science’ has been used to mean the methods of science that are applied in solving public matters. The term has further been conceptualized to mean all the scientific methods applied in solving matters involving the justice system (Osterburg, 2016). The term ‘forensic science’ has been clearly elucidated as the science that is applied to criminal and civil law. Forensic science on its own is very broad thus the reason for it being subdivided into a myriad of several branches. Criminalists and forensic medicine constitute two of the prime branches that make up the term ‘forensic science’.

            Criminalist, a term that was first coined by Paul Kirk, is a branch of forensic science that is mainly concerned with the recording; scientific examination and interpretation of the minute details to be found in physical evidence (Osterburg, 2016).This branch generally involves the aspect of collecting and analyzing physical evidence that had been generated by the criminal activity. This includes analysis on firearms, footwear, fingerprints, body fluids, blood, tool marks among other trace evidence in the forensic science laboratories (Osterburg, 2016). The two major sub branches of criminalist one being, forensic biology, involves the use of body samples for analysis of DNA. The second subdivision of Criminalist is the firearms and drug analysis or toxicology.Forensic medicine, another branch of forensic science involves aninteraction between the law, judiciary and the police. Forensic medicine is generally used to describe all aspects of forensic work including forensic pathology and clinical forensic medicine (Osterburg, 2016).   Forensic pathology and clinical forensic medicine are two major subdivisions of forensic medicine. The term ‘forensic pathology’ has been used to describe the process of investigating the cause of a victim’s death. On the other hand, the term ‘clinical forensic medicine’ has been described as the medical analysis on a living victim who had been involved in a criminal case.

Topic 2

            The blood testimony conclusion from Dr. Lee and MacDonald in O.J. case was important as it creates a vivid image on what might have actually taken place. The blood also served as a good biological sample that was used by forensic scientists in carrying out a DNA analysis. Besides this, the blood testimony assisted in the analysis on determining who the real culprits might have been. Dr. Lee and MacDonald assisted in the case by providing certain facts concerning the found sock. According to their analysis on the sock, they found the presence of blood stains that had seemingly dried and hardened around the sock fibers. They further identified that the blood stains were from flowing blood belonging to Simpson’s wife (Osterburg, 2016).

            The time factor was important in the provision of evidence because the main source of evidence was the blood. During the period when the video of the crime scene was being taken, the presence of the sock could not be seen. However, it was only after the video footage that the sock could be seen under the bed of the murdered victim. When further investigated, the sock was found to contain a few stains of blood that belonged to the murdered victim; Nicole Simpson. Due to time, the bloodstains present in the sock had hardened around the fiber. This indicates that the blood in liquid form was able to flow around the fiber before solidifying. Therefore, time factor is an important aspect in determining at what time and when the crime had been committed (Maxwell et al., 2016).

            According to my opinion, the sock had not been planted as evidence against O.J Simpson. Even though the sock had not been earlier seen on the taken video, the sock still acts as evidence due to the presence of bloodstains belonging to Nicole Simpson. There is also a probability that the video footage was not thorough and thus could be easy not to do coverage on substances found under bed. In conclusion, I believe all the evidence points O.J Simpson as the main person who committed the crime.


Osterburg, J. W. (2016). Criminal investigation: A method for reconstructing the past. S.l.: Taylor & Francis.

Maxwell, K. A., Huxford, J., Borum, C., &Hornik, R. (2000).Covering domestic violence: How the OJ Simpson case shaped reporting of domestic violence in the news media.Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(2), 258-272.