The technology marks progress, but law enforcement agencies’ slow introduction of innovative gadgets into work is strange since this could improve and facilitate many processes. The article “Introducing 3D printed models as demonstrative evidence at criminal trials” highlights a precedent in which a 3D printed model was used as evidence and aided the investigation. The work draws attention to the most urgent issue of 3D-printed evidence in criminal investigations for decision-making, taking into account the validity of the innovations’ implementation.
3D printing is a generic term encompassing a range of additive technologies that create physical models from digital files. The benefits of such evidence are demonstrating their potential around the world (Brandl, 2017). The article cites a successful use of 3D printed materials as demonstration evidence in a murder trial, one of the first such cases in the UK to be reported in the scientific literature.
During the murder trial, two men were charged with beating their victim to death. The investigation into this crime included micro-computed tomography of the victim’s skull, which helped the pathologist determine the circumstances of the attack. It was important to find out the number of weapons for the attack and the performers (Baier et al., 2018). The scans revealed two different forms of damage involving either two types of weapons or one weapon with geometrically different surfaces. Subsequently, this served as the basis for 3D printing and was presented as physical evidence, which clarified the investigation.
3D digital evidence is a powerful tool for clarifying expert testimony and reducing potential confusion associated with scientific or medical evidence. Using the innovation in court is relevant, thereby providing the jury with the best possible means to reach an informed verdict. However, the authors conclude that physical models should be used with caution and in cases where it is actual to supplement existing evidence. It is impossible to deny that technology is the future, and innovation in criminal investigation procedures will improve the familiar, established system. At the moment, it takes some more time for the role of 3D printed models to be proven, and implementation is possible.
Baier, W., Warnett, J. M., Payne, M., & Williams, M. A. (2018). Introducing 3D printed models as demonstrative evidence at criminal trials. Journal of forensic sciences, 63(4), 1298-1302. Web.
Brandl, S. G. (2017). Criminal investigation. SAGE Publications.