You are a detective called to the scene of a homicide in an apartment building. The deceased is a young male who has been stabbed numerous times. The roommate of the deceased man is present in the room, his shirt is covered with blood, and there is a knife on the floor. Uniformed officers are guarding the doors and the roommate. There are four (4) important actions you must take; discuss each of these fully including how the actions should be taken, their importance, and consequences of not taking the actions.
Crime Scene Procedure
As a detective, upon the arrival at a crime scene, there are a number of key actions that should be undertaken. There are four major actions that need to be undertaken on the crime scene which are the ensuring of scene safety, confirmation of death, scene briefing, and the conduction of a scene walk through. The steps should be carried out in the laid order so as to make sure that the investigation is carried out in the best way possible.
The first step in the process should be the ensuring of scene safety and security. The safety and security of all the people that are involved in the investigation process should be ensured. Some of the security risks include hostile crowds and the best way to deal with a crowd that is hostile is by restricting the crime scene area using a tape. The tape ensures that the crowd are at a secure distance away from the scene (Ciolino, 2005). Failure to secure the crime scene will lead to the tampering of evidence because some of the aspects of evidence are quite sensitive. The detective also need to be wearing protective gear such as gloves or masks where necessary. The gloves are an essential part of the protective gear so as to ensure that the fingerprints as well as the DNA of the detective are not found on the crime scene. If the protective gear is not used, then a DNA test is carried out, the results will be inconclusive.
The second action that should be undertaken is the confirmation and pronouncement of death. The determination of death should be done before any investigation is carried out so as to guide the way that the detectives will carry out their duties (Lynch & Duval, 2011). It is the duty of the detective to contact the relevant authorities so that they can come view and confirm the death of the victim. The investigator should then document the specific individual that made the official determination of death and the specific date, time and location of confirmation of death (Dutelle , 2016). The confirmation of death is a very important step in the process because if the victim is not dead, the whole course of the investigation would take a very different direction. If the determination of death is not carried out then the whole process may be unsuccessful because the victim may still have a pulse and can be resuscitated. The victim may end up dying if the determination of death is not carried out even if there was a possibility that he or she could have been rescued.
The investigator should be also carry out a scene briefing in the best way possible so as to ensure that there is no confusion in the roles of different institutions. The jurisdictions as well as statutory responsibilities of various agencies varies such as law enforcement and legal representatives (Houck, 2012). The duties of the agency representatives should be determined and clearly defined at the crime scene so as to have a clear picture on the depth and scope of the investigation as well as relaying information to the public. The detective should establish the different investigative goals of the different agency representatives as well as share vital information with the other representatives. Failure to conduct a scene briefing would lead to a mix up with different agencies colliding over who does what and when it should be done.
The fourth action that the detective should take should be conducting a scene walk through. This step is important because it provides the investigator with an overview of the whole scene. When the investigator walks around the scene, he is able to identify fragile as well as valuable evidence in the investigation (Karaziogis & sgaglio, 2005). The walk through also provides the detective with an idea of the best initial investigative procedures that will make the examination and documentation of the scene as easy and organized as possible. The walk through is essential so as to ensure that there is minimum scene disturbance. Failure to conduct a walk through would lead to the tampering of evidence because it is not clear as to where key evidence markers are located.
For a successful investigation to be carried out, these four action should be undertaken in the order that they have been laid out. The first action that should be undertaken is the ensuring of the scene safety so as to make sure that the investigator as well as other agency representatives are in a safe environment free from harm. The second action should be the confirmation of death so that it can be determined whether the victim can still be resuscitated to save his or her life. If it is determined that the victim is dead then the necessary steps in handling of the body should be undertaken. Scene briefing is essential in that the duties of different agencies are clearly defined and no conflict should arise. The final action should be conduction of a scene walk through so as to be able to identify key evidence around the crime scene.
Ciolino, P. J. (2005). In the company of giants: The ultimate investigation guide for legal professionals, activists, journalists & the wrongly convicted. New York: iUniverse, Inc.
Dutelle, A. W. (2016). An introduction to crime scene investigation.
Houck, M. M., Crispino, F., & McAdam, T. (2012). The science of crime scenes. Waltham, MA: Academic Press.
Karagiozis, M. F., & Sgaglio, R. (2005). Forensic investigation handbook: An introduction to the collection, preservation, analysis, and presentation of evidence. Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas.
Lynch, V. A., & Duval, J. B. (2011). Forensic nursing science. St. Louis: Mosby/Elsevier.