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Criminal Procedure: Chain of Custody

You are a detective dispatched to a crime scene involving multiple victims. Upon your arrival, the first officer on the scene provides you with an overview of what he found on his arrival. He also gives you a knife that he obtained from the crime scene. After conducting a preliminary examination of the scene, you proceed back to the station to conduct interviews with the witnesses.

What steps should you have taken when receiving the knife from the first officer on the scene? After arriving back at the station? Why?

In your own words, what do you think is meant by establishing the chain of custody as it relates to evidence found at the crime scene? Explain.

What do you think could be the legal ramifications that can occur if the chain of custody is broken? Explain.

Solution Preview

What steps should you have taken when receiving the knife from the first officer on the scene? After arriving back at the station? Why?

First you must ascertain whether the officer used proper protocol when picking up the knife i.e. was the knife contaminated because the officer didn't use gloves. Secondly, if the knife wasn't contaminated, the knife must be ...

Solution Summary

The chain of custody for criminal procedures are provided. The steps which should be taken when receiving the knife from the first officer on the scene are given.

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