CJ312 Criminalistics

for S1B 2010

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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


S1B 2010 BL


Graves, Scott W., Sr.


Senior Instructor


NCU Doctoral Candidate Pending Dissertation, 18 Hour Concentration in Criminal Justice

Office Location

By Appointment Only-E-Mail anytime

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 11th through March 7th, 2010

Class Days

Monday and Wednesday

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:

1. All class work will be conducted and submitted on located at parkonline.org
2. Login with student ID and PIN
3. Locate class entitled CJ312 and click link
4. 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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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 science and potential developments
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

1. Plagiarism Lesson and Quiz:   35 points
2. Students must complete three (3) literature reviews in APA format consisting of two pages each that cover a topic specified and found in the weekly assignment as indicated in eCompanion. The student should review the Criminalistic technique and then locate a current event (crime) that was solved using that technique and then conduct a two page discussion of the forensic technique and how it related to the current crime under review.

Each short review will be written in APA format and consist of  a cover page and two full pages of written text, with in-text citations, (TNR font sized 12), as well as a reference pages. I recommend a. introduction of topic b. introduction and analysis of the forensic technique and c. then a discussion of the application of the technique to the crime under review.

NO WIKIPEDIA SOURCES ARE ALLOWED!!!! ALL sources of current events MUST be obtained from Park's online library or the article will not be accepted.

Each essay is worth ten (20) points and due according to the schedule in eCompanion. (60 points)

3. Six Quizzes must be taken online at parkonline.org (eCompanion) listed under weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 All exams must be taken during the dates indicated on eCompanion. Students missing quizzes will not be allowed to make them up. Quizzes due as indicated on eCompanion and are worth 10 points each (60 points).

4. Submission of false conviction case information on the form located in the document sharing tab, which includes: (25 points)
a. Type of crime
b. Date of crime
c. State/City where crime committed
d. Victim name
e. Convicts' name

5. Group or Individual Presentation (depending on class size): Each student must locate a well-documented instance of a person that was falsely convicted of either rape or murder. Submission of your presentation DOES NOT require an essay, but only the filling out of the information form indicating the murder case under study and naming the victim and convicted to avoid having duplicate cases and causing boredom during the presentations. The student will be graded according to the grading rubric located in document sharing. (50 points).

6. Power Point presentation: The student presentation should consist of four power-point slides to be presented in class for a total of (40 points).

a. Introduction and summary of the case at hand including dates, times, and specific details of the crime. (10 points)
b. A listing of the evidence that caused the conviction of the suspect.(10 points)
c. A listing of the evidence and circumstances that caused the exoneration of the suspect.(10 points)
d. A discussion of the the differences in quality and kind of evidence surrounding the conviction and following exoneration.(10 points).

7.  Final Examination (in-class) worth (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 students responsibility to conduct the assigned readings!
DUE: Week 8, Monday
8. Participation: 5 points per class session missed is deducted regardless of excused or unexcused absence. Students not present in class and not participating in a compensatory activity via the eCompanion system will be deemed to not have participated and will receive the appropriate deduction  (total 80 points ).
Total points equal (500)

450 to 500 points = A
400 to 449 points = B
350 to 399 points = C
300 to 349 points = D
Below 300 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 unexcused/absent. 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:

Jan 11 Monday
Class administration. Introduction, Course expectations and student responsibilities. Chapter 1, Introduction to Criminalistics and the theoretical basis and foundations of crime scene approach. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. Explanation of synthesis papers.

Jan 13 Wednesday
Class Administration. Chapter 1, Introduction to Criminalistics and the theoretical basis and foundations of crime scene approach, Lecture and Discussion.

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

Jan 18 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.

Jan 20 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.

  Jan 25
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.

Jan 27 Wednesday
Class Administration. Chapter 5, Organic analysis and related principles. Lecture and Discussion. Read chapter prior to class. Review for MT.

Feb 1 Monday
Class Administration. Chapter 6, Inorganic analysis and related principles. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. MT

Feb 3 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.

Feb 8 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.

Feb 10 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.

Feb 15 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.

Feb 18 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.

Feb 22 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.

Feb 24 Wednesday
Meet with students and conduct chapter review.
Class Administration. Chapter 15-16, Firearms and tool marks, terms and testing. Document and voice examination and reliability coupled with admissibility. Lecture and Discussion.

Read chapter prior to class. Review for Final.

March 1 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.

March 3 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 .

Additional Information:
The textbook is mandatory for the class.



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Last Updated:12/29/2009 10:19:58 AM