CJ312 Criminalistics

for F1B 2009

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CJ 312 Criminalistics


F1B 2009 BL


Graves, Scott W., Sr.


Senior Instructor



Office Location

By Appointment Only

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

August 10 through September 30, 2009

Class Days


Class Time



CJ100 and CJ105

Credit Hours



Criminalistics, An Introduction to Forensic Sciences, Ninth Edition, 2007
Author: Richard Saferstein
ISBN-10: 0132216558
ISBN-13: 978-0132216555

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

located at parkonline.org
login with student ID and PIN
Locate class entitled CJ312 and click link
Complete assignments as indicated by week.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
This intermediate course covers topics such as the discovery, recognition, observation, identification, and collection and comparison of physical evidence, including a review of various current techniques in the testing of physical evidence. PREREQUISITES: CJ 100 and CJ 105. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Students should put forth their best effort and take responsibility for getting the most out of their education.  Students must read all chapters and complete class work in a timely manner AND READ BEFORE CLASS. 

All humans should engage in a life-long pursuit of learning and obtain a solid grounding in the fundamentals of your chosen discipline.  To that end, I work intensively to present you with the thinkers of our discipline and challenge you to absorb their academic views and develop your own, unique view.  I emphasize that students engage in critical thinking and dare to challenge the status quo of conventional wisdom.  Students should be prepared to engage in lively debate and a passionate pursuit of knowledge and personal academic development. Park University, Fort Bliss Campus is non-traditional college format that requires the same effort as a traditional setting.  Consequently, students should expect to perform similar amounts of academic work to ensure they receive a thorough and quality education.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Distinguish different types of evidence used in criminal prosecutions.
  2. Critique the admissibility of evidence.
  3. Recognize and develop evidence.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand the proper approach to crime scenes
  2. Recognize that your perception can alter you success ina crime scene
  3. Prioritize actions in a crime scene
  4. Anticipate the future of forensic scienec and potential developments
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

1.  Three- 3-page essays (synthesis papers) using two scholarly or peer reviewed articles as researched by the student.  Students must use APA format (sample will be provided) consisting of: 1.  Cover page 2.  Three pages of text:    a. Introduction of topic b. Analysis of two research articles obtained by the student from Park's online library   c. Concluding remarks, assessment of articles' value. Each essay is worth ten (50) points (Total 150 points)
DUE: Essay 1-Week 3 (Wed), Essay 2-Week 5 (Wed), Essay 3-Week 7 (Wed)

2. Five Quizzes taken online at parkonline.org listed under weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: All exams must be taken during the calendar dates indicated. Students missing quizzes will not be allowed to make them up. Each quiz is worth 50 points each (total 250 points).
DUE: Quiz 1-Week 2, Quiz 2-Week 3, Quiz 3-Week 4, Quiz 4-Week 5, Quiz 5-Week 6

3. Group or Individual Presentations: You will find and review a case of false conviction either in a small group or as individuals depending on class size. Your presentations must be unique and you will analyze the case to determine the elements that lead to a false conviction. You will also make recommendations regarding how the case should have been investigated from an evidentiary point of view and in a way that would have prevented a false conviction.
DUE: Week 6-Monday

Appropriate topic-murder or sexual assault-(25 points), Analysis of case elements-clearly list the elements causing the false conviction-(25 points), Analysis of investigative strategies that would have prevented the false conviction-(25 ponts), Proper delivery of briefing-did student only read to class(5 pts)? did student know the facts of the case(5 pts)? did student clearly explain the case (5 pts)? did the student hold the attention of the class (5 pts)? did student seek input from the class (5 pts)? (TOTAL 100 points)  

4.  Final (150 points) examinations that cover assigned chapters and class discussion and lecture. It is the students responsibility to keep pace with the reading assignments. Some of the chapters material will be discussed in class and some won't; however, all material is subject to being tested. It is ALWAYS the sudents responsibility to conduct the assigned readings!
DUE: Week 8, Monday
5. Participation: 5 points per class session missed is deducted regardless of excused or unexcused absence  (total 80 points )
6. Total points equal 730 points

657 to 730 points = A
584 to 656 points = B
511 to 655 points = C
438 to 654 points = D
Below 438 points = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work is not accepted. Missed quizzes and examinations are not allowed and no make-up exams will be given.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students should arrive for class on time and stay the entire length of class.  Students arriving thirty minutes after class commences will be marked unexcused/absent.  Students leaving before the class ends will be marked unexcusedabsent. Students must treat all in class with respect and dignity.  Abusive conduct will not be tolerated.  Students are expected to read the assigned textbook chapters and to be familiar with their chapter content before each class session.  Plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration on class work, or cheating is considered a serious violation by Park University and is not tolerated.  Students may be dismissed or given a failing grade if found cheating or plagiarizing.  Absences should be kept to a minimum.  Students that are absent cannot participate and will be given the indicated grade point reduction for each absence whether excused or unexcused.  Leveling work for absences may include detailed written summaries of chapters or completion of review questions or definitions at the end of chapters, or any other class-related assigned task as determined by the instructor.  Late class work will not be accepted.  Tardiness over thirty minutes, or failure to attend the entire class will be considered an absence.  Two unexcused absences will be reported immediately to the Park University administrative office for appropriate action. NO CELL PHONES, PDA'S, OR COMPUTERS WILL BE USED DURING ANY PORTION OF CLASS TIME TO INCLUDE TESTING. STUDENTS FOUND TEXTING DURING THE TEST WILL RECEIVE A ZERO FOR THE TEST. ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES SHOULD BE SHUT OFF DURING CLASS PERIOD. STUDENTS USING PHONES OR OTHER DEVICES WILL BE ASKED TO TURN THEM OFF AND STOW THEM IN PURSES OR BACK PACKS.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Aug 10 Monday
Class administration. Introduction, Course expectations and student responsibilities. Chapter 1, Introduction to Criminalistics and the theoretical basis and foiundations of crime scene approach. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. Explanation of synthesis papers.

Aug 12 Wednesday
Class Administration. Chapter 1, Introduction to Criminalistics and the theoretical basis and foiundations of crime scene approach, Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. Explanation of synthesis papers and sample.

Aug 17 Monday

Class Administration. Chapter 2, The crime scene construct, expectations and organization vs disorganizations as well as implications, Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class.

Aug 19 Wednesday
Class Administration. Chapter 3, Physical evidence: Seeing what is in front of you for what it is. Types of evidence, direct and circumstantial and implications for criminal cases. Generalized rules for handling evidence. Lecture and Discussion. Synthesis paper one due.

Read chapter prior to class.

Aug 24
Class Administration. Chapter 4, Physical properties and the value of glass and soil as it relates to crime scene. Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class.

Aug 26 Wednesday
Class Administration. Chapter 5, Organic analysis and related principles. Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class. Review for MT.

Aug 31 Monday
Class Administration. Chapter 6, Inorganic analysis and related principles. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. MT

Sep 2 Wednesday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 7, The microscope, types, and value to forensic processing. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class.

Sep 7 Monday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 8, Hairs, fibers and paint. Lecture and Discussion regarding the value and relevance of this type of evidence and how to collect and interpret the evidence.
Read chapter prior to class.

Sep 9 Wednesday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 9, Drugs and their majority impact on crimes and evidence currently held by LE agencies. Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class. Review of a "false conviction case" and discussion of errors common to investigations that result in wrongful conviction.

Sep 14 Monday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 10, Forensic technology in existence and trends in the field. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class.

Sep 16 Wednesday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 11-12, Forensic arson and forensic serology. The importance of serology to violent crime investigation. New trends and discoveries in the field. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class.

Sep 21 Monday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 13-14, DNA and fingerprints, reliability and location within crime scenes. Origins of DNA testing and usefulness. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class.

Sep 23 Wednesday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 15-16, Firearms and toolmakrs, terms and testing. Document and voice examination and reliability coupled with admissibility. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. Review for Final.

Sep 28 Monday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.

Class Administration. Chapter 17-18, The ever growing field of computer forensics and gleaning evidence from Internet sources and records. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. Final.

Sep 30 Wednesday
Chapter 19, the future of forensic applications to criminal justice. Where is it all going? Meet with students and conduct chapter review, Class recap.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
Plagiarism includes using another person's work, wholesale, without citation or the overuse of another's work. Further, it is plagiarism to copy another persons work identically and submit it as your own. In any written work the majority of the writing should come from the mind of the student and not another. Papers that exceed 10% of another's work will be given an F and considered plagiarism. You can check your work's originality for free at plagiarismchecker.com

Please think about your topics and use original thought during your work.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
Four absences are considered excessive and the student may be given a failing course grade for more than four absences.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .



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Last Updated:7/13/2009 9:29:31 PM