Chapter 9 – Forensic-Evidence Gathering
Read more: § 9.01. General Principles for Forensic Evidence
Agencies should ensure, to the best of their abilities, that the methods used to collect, analyze, present, and preserve forensic evidence are sufficiently repeatable, reproducible, and accurate. As much as is practicable—to the extent permitted by legal rules and court orders—forensic-evidence work should be conducted independent of law enforcement, and the results should be made…
Read more: § 9.02. Forensic-Evidence Collection
Agencies should collect forensic evidence in an impartial, consistent, and thorough manner, designed to maximize accuracy. In doing so, agencies should rely on: (a) the participation of, and guidance from, scientists and crime laboratories; (b) specialists in conducting crime-scene-evidence collection; and (c) written evidence-collection policies.
Read more: § 9.03. Policies for Forensic Testing
Agencies should adopt policies for determining when and whether evidence should be submitted for forensic testing, and should set priorities to ensure that, when feasible, probative evidence is tested in a prompt manner.
Read more: § 9.04. Quality Controls and Performance Testing
(a) Agencies should ensure the ongoing use of quality controls for forensics work, including accreditation, certification, blind testing of forensic analysts, and routine audits of cases.(b) When errors in testing or analyzing forensic evidence are detected, agencies should correct the errors and notify the affected parties of the errors.
Read more: § 9.05. Minimizing Human Factors in the Evaluation of Forensic Evidence
Agencies should develop policies and processes to minimize the negative effects of human factors that can undermine the accuracy of forensic evidence.
Read more: § 9.06. Disclosure of Forensic Evidence
Agencies should ensure that all forensic records, including conclusions and underlying bench notes, are: (a) documented in reports that (1) use consistent, accurate, and straightforward terminology, (2) include complete and thorough explanations of methods and results, (3) distinguish data from interpretations, opinions, and conclusions, (4) disclose relevant laboratory-wide data, including protocols and procedures, proficiency results,…
Read more: § 9.07. Forensic-Evidence Preservation
(a) Agencies should have minimum standards to ensure that forensic evidence is properly preserved and retained for a defined period of time.(b) Before discarding or destroying forensic evidence, when feasible, notice should be provided by the evidence custodian to the court, prosecution, victim(s), criminal defendant(s), and legal counsel, along with an opportunity to respond.