Ethics in Forensic Science book cover

Ethics in Forensic Science

This work will draw upon the expertise of the editors as authors and various contributors in order to present several different perspectives with the goal of approaching and understanding when ethical lines are crossed. In order to achieve this goal, comparisons of various canons of ethics from related fields such as medicine, law, the military, science and politics will be examined and applied. Case studies will be presented throughout to illustrate ethical dilemmas and challenge the reader with the goal of greater understanding.

Primary: Forensic professionals (i.e. pathologists, scientists, researchers, practitioners)
Secondary: Law enforcement professionals (i.e. police, crime scene investigators, police academies / training), academia (i.e. criminalistics courses, police science, forensic science, law & science)
Tertiary: Legal professionals, those preparing to be an expert witness

Hardbound, 472 Pages

Published: March 2012

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-385019-5


  • "Downs, a medical examiner and consultant, and Swienton, a forensic attorney and consultant, provide forensic and criminal justice practitioners, crime scene investigators and photographers, law enforcement training centers, police academies and local agencies, and forensic consultants and scientists with a guide to ethics in forensic science. It contains 17 chapters by forensic science, law, and other specialists from the US who discuss the history of ethics, provide brief synopses of major theorists, and address topics like the religious perspective of applied ethics in forensics; general ethical dilemmas; codes of ethics in forensic science societies and other organizations (education, business, religion, medicine, etc.); the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner model; teaching ethics; criminal investigation, crime lab and crime scene, and judicial ethics; the post-conviction process; whistleblowers; and ethics in law enforcement, for child abuse prosecutors and defense attorneys, in testimony of forensic practitioners, and in media."--Reference and Research Book News, Inc.

    "This book attempts to answer the question: "When is ethical, ethical, and when is it not?" Its contributors write on topics such as general forensic ethical dilemmas; codes of ethics as spelled out by forensic science societies; ethics in SANE practice; how to teach ethics; ethics in law enforcement, criminal investigations, crime laboratories, and crime scene investigations; and ethics for attorneys, prosecutors, and expert witnesses."--Evidence Technology Magazine, July-August 2012, page 4


  • 1. A Brief History of Ethics
    Jennifer Downs

    2. The Forensic Practitioner’s Quest for Truth
    Fr. William Willoughby, III, Sister Elena Thompson, and J.C. Upshaw Downs

    3. General Forensic Ethical Dilemmas
    Jay A. Siegel

    4. Codes of Ethics in Forensic Science Societies:  The Organizational Parameters of Morality and Conduct
    Kenneth E. Melson

    5. Ethical Foundations for SANE Practice
    Linda E. Ledray and Susan Chasson

    6. Ethics Codes in Other Organizations: Structures and Enforcement
    J.C. Upshaw Downs and Anjali Ranadive Swienton

    7. Teaching Ethics
    Max M. Houck and Robin T. Bowen

    8. Ethics in Law Enforcement; Defining the Thin Blue Line
    Fred E. Stephens

    9. Criminal Investigational Ethics
    James Markey

    10. Ethics in the Crime Laboratory and in Crime Scene Investigations
    Barry A.J. Fisher

    11. Ethics for Child Abuse Prosecutors - A Call to Leadership
    Rachelle L. Carnesale

    12. Ethical Duties of Attorneys and Experts in Cases Involving Forensic Evidence, from the Perspective of the Defense
    Andrea Roth

    13. Ethics in Testimony
    Joseph P. Bono, Anjali Ranadive Swienton and J.C. Upshaw Downs

    14. Judicial Ethics
    Haskell M. Pitluck

    15. The Post-Conviction Process - From the Perspective of the Convicted
    Anjali Ranadive Swienton and J.C. Upshaw Downs

    16. Whistle Blowers
    J.C. Upshaw Downs

    17. Ethics in Media
    Anjali Ranadive Swienton and J.C. Upshaw Downs


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