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Accessing the Probative Value of Physical Evidence at Crime Scenes with Ambient Mass Spectrometry and Portable Instrumentation
The amount and variety of evidence collected at a typical crime scene is extensive. While many significant analytical methods have been established over the years, particularly hyphenated mass spectrometric techniques, forensic laboratories cannot keep up with the demand, and in many cases, significant backlogs of evidence have amassed. While this points to a need for more rapid, streamlined technologies for forensic analysis, a significant reduction in collected evidence, leading to a subsequent reduction in backlogged evidence, would come from the ability to access the probative value of chemical evidence at the crime scene itself, allowing only pertinent samples to be sent to off-site laboratories for confirmation. Screening of physical evidence at the crime scene also has the capability to rapidly determine whether a criminal investigation is needed and provide law enforcement personnel with necessary information in a timely manner, which in many cases is crucial. To assist in the reduction of collected samples while increasing the overall quality of said evidence, it would beneficial for forensic science practitioners to have technology at their disposal that is not only portable, allowing the screening of potential evidence before collection, but also flexible in terms of chemical species and sample substrates that can be analyzed. This flexibility, in particular, would allow this technology to be robust towards the ingenuity of criminals and emerging threats.
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Last Updated: 2/5/2019 10:54:21 AM
Keywords: Evidence, Crime Scenes, Probative Value
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