How Digital forensic photography forensic photography is used in domestic violence cases and convictions
Governors State University
Professor (Nuke) NkulenuAbstract
Photography is what people use to take pictures and preserve past visual memories. Past memories can be preserved with cameras. Cameras can take video or still pictures of anything that it important to you. Using instant photography for digital forensic photography is important to preserve evidence of visual facts.
Domestic violence is abusive behavior by one partner to have control over another personal partner. Many forms of abuse exist in the definition of domestic violence. Domestic violence is documented by some law enforcement using instant digital forensic photography.
Instant camera film is just as much the same as regular camera film but with a few extra elements.
A scientist named Edwin Land introduced a new product. It was a film that developed itself in a matter of minutes. This instant film was a big success and a new company was formed named the Polaroid Corporation. Polaroid made more than $5 million in camera sales alone! Over the proceeding 50 years, the company carved out its own special niche, selling millions of instant cameras and more than a billion rolls of instant film (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polaroid, paragraph embedded).
There are three common types of film that exist for forensic uses black and white film, color film and transparency film. Film has varying degrees of sensitivity to the amount and intensity of light. These degrees of sensitivity are referred to as the American Standards Association. The higher the ANSI number the “faster” the film. Faster film reacts quicker to light; therefore, it requires less light for proper exposure.
The basic idea of film is to capture patterns of light using special chemicals. The camera briefly exposes the film to the light coming from a scene and where the light hits the film, it starts off a chemical reaction.
Print film consists of a plastic base that is coated with particles of a silver compound. When this compound is exposed to many light photons, it forms silver atoms. Black-and-white film has one layer of silver compound, while color film has three layers. In color film, the top layer is sensitive to blue light, the next layer is sensitive to green and the bottom layer is sensitive to red. When you expose the film, the sensitive grains at each layer react to light of that color, creating a chemical record of the light and color pattern.
To turn this into a picture, you must develop the film using more chemicals. One chemical developer turns the exposed particles into metallic silver. The film is then treated with three different dye developers containing dye couplers. The three dye colors are: Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow.
Developed color film has a negative image and the colors appear opposite of the colors in the original scene. In slide film, the two dyes that attach to the unexposed area combine to form the color captured at the exposed layer.
The instant-camera developing process combines colors in the same basic way as color slide film, but the developing chemicals are already present in the film itself.
Though the quality of integral instant film is not as good as conventional film, peel apart black and white film, and to a lesser extent color film approached the quality of traditional film types. Instant film was used where it was undesirable to have to wait for a roll of conventional film to be finished and processed, e.g., documenting evidence in law enforcement, in health care and scientific applications, and producing photographs for passports and other identity documents, or simply for snapshots to be seen immediately.
Finally, I bring photography, domestic violence and instant film together for use in forensic photography. Forensic photography, also referred to as crime scene photography, is an activity that records the initial appearance of the crime scene and physical evidence, to provide a permanent record for the courts. Crime scene photography differs from other variations of photography because crime scene photographers usually have a very specific purpose for capturing each image.
The body can be a major source of physical evidence that is used to associate or link suspects to violence. It is the basis of why the violated body of domestic violence should be investigated. Any damage found on the human body can be physical evidence. In a scientific police investigation, the first activities of the police are to photograph essential damage to the body for the successful preservation of the physical evidence using instant photography. The first responder and ultimately the police have the obligation to make the domestic violence victim feel secure and ensure that any further activities between the victim and offender do not change the evidence.
Proper photo documentation when using instant photography in domestic violence cases is crucial in establishing the chain of evidence needed to prosecute cases. It helps prosecutor’s secure early guilty pleas from offenders, reducing court costs and caseloads.
Instant photo documentation in forensic photography helps increase domestic violence conviction rates. When using instant photo documentation cases can be successfully prosecuted without the victim’s testimony because bruises fade with time, but instant photos depicting injuries do not. Instant photos are also tamper resistant. Police and law enforcement officers can see immediately that the right image was captured, minimizing the number of photos taken per case. One-on-one or close-up photos of victim’s injuries, and close-up or mid-range imagery that includes the victim’s face for identification purposes, can show indications of past abuse such as scars, or faded bruising which could be evidence of abuse over an extended period. Instant photo documentation in forensic photography can provide evidence before officer leaves the scene and photos can become part of the case file immediately, particularly important for fast arraignments. Police also use instant photography for forensic uses to document the scene of the violence by taking pictures of broken furniture, or any damage to personal property of the victim. They can show the severity of the violence and they can show any violence against children, showing them crying, scared, upset or injured.
These photos can be uploaded to a website such as https://www.docx.us/ which allows police and law enforcement to create high-res Polaroid photos and then they can be stored digitally for further and closer examination.
More than 100,000 police officers in the world report using Polaroid cameras to document domestic violence injuries.
This paper is not about instant photography but how it can be use in domestic violence cases in regards to forensic photography to prosecute cases and get convictions.
U.S Justice Department,