Forensics Information

Forensic science is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or a civil action. Besides its relevance to a legal system, more generally forensics encompasses the accepted scholarly or scientific methodology and norms under which the facts regarding an event, or an artifact, or some other physical item are ascertained as being the case. In that regard the concept is related to the notion of authentication, where by an interest outside of a legal form exists in determining whether an object is what it purports to be, or is alleged as being.

The word forensic comes from the Latin adjective forensis, meaning "of or before the forum". In Roman times, a criminal charge meant presenting the case before a group of public individuals in the forum. Both the person accused of the crime and the accuser would give speeches based on their side of the story. The individual with the best argument and delivery would determine the outcome of the case. This origin is the source of the two modern usages of the word forensic – as a form of legal evidence and as a category of public presentation.

In modern use, the term "forensics" in place of "forensic science" can be considered incorrect as the term "forensic" is effectively a synonym for "legal" or "related to courts". However, the term is now so closely associated with the scientific field that many dictionaries include the meaning that equates the word "forensics" with "forensic science".

Wikipedia, Forensics, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensics (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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