Volume 23, Issue 1 (January 1978)

    The Forensic Identification of Heroin

    (Received 23 May 1977; accepted 26 July 1977)

    Published Online: January

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    As a result of the rapid increase in requests and the ever-rising backlog of cases, forensic science laboratories are developing an intense interest in analytical procedures that can provide rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive methods for identifying drugs. However, the forensic chemist must always be aware of the scientific accountability that is expected of him or her in our adversary system of justice. The necessity for performing a specific identification far outweighs any shortcuts that may be adopted to expedite a chemical analysis. As the importance of scientific testimony grows, the courts are becoming more conscious of criteria that must be met to support the admissibility of scientific evidence. The accuracy of heretofore accepted statements and descriptions relating to the identification and comparison of physical evidence is increasingly becoming subject to scrutiny and debate. Practitioners of the law are starting to take advantage of inconsistencies in the scientific literature and the lack of experimental data to discredit an entire scheme of analysis. One only has to examine recent court decisions pertaining to the forensic analysis of marihuana to confirm this trend. The contrasting opinions of experts regarding the number of Cannabis species have served to confuse and, in some instances, discredit a botanical and chemical scheme of analysis that until the present has found general acceptanee in the forensic science community [1,2].


    Author Information:

    Chao, J-M
    Chief forensic chemist, Burlington County Forensic Science Laboratory, Mount Holly, N.J.

    Manura, JJ
    Principal forensic chemist and chief forensic chemist, New Jersey State Police, Forensic Science Bureau, West Trenton, N.J.

    Saferstein, R
    Principal forensic chemist and chief forensic chemist, New Jersey State Police, Forensic Science Bureau, West Trenton, N.J.


    Stock #: JFS10651J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10651J

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    Author
    Title The Forensic Identification of Heroin
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30