And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement, – Hebrews 9:27
A match between a person and physical evidence collected from a crime scene does not prove guilt of a crime but presence at the location of offense. However, in conjunction with other evidence, it can make a case. Latent (hidden or invisible) evidence overlooked or destroyed by improper processing can lose a case.
In crime scene investigation the manner chosen to uncover evidence, such as latent prints, is decided prior to the search. The methods vary per the type of scene searched and evidence sought. Subsequent analysis and comparison of discovered physical evidence can lead to a match with a suspect.
So what if that decision is wrong?
Steps in Examining Physical Evidence for Latent Prints
I have written before about processing items for latent prints using fingerprint powders. Those techniques are effective for only certain kinds of evidence. Their use on other types will either fail to enhance (reveal or make visible) or simply destroy a print. Alternate techniques use chemicals to enhance latent prints.
Lab and field personnel have used sequential charts to effectively process evidence for years. The first step on each is visual examination. Each step after targets different components of the latent print and the substrate examined. Processing out of sequence hinders or eliminates success. For example, referencing the chart to the left, in processing paper for latent prints:
- Iodine fumes can be used to enhance fatty oils (they appear dark brown) but do not affect amino acids in latent prints.
- Ninhydrin can be used to enhance amino acids (they appear dark purple) but will destroy fatty oils in latent prints.
- Using ninhydrin prior to iodine fuming eliminates what iodine might have yielded.
- Instead of having two chances to enhance a print only one remains.
I have learned valuable lessons seeing prideful decisions based on a CSI’s believing their personal knowledge greater than those who have come before them. Their decisions, more often than not, turn out bad.
- Procedures exist because mistakes, very likely the ones you will make, have been made before.
- Learning from mistakes of others is better than learning from your own.
- Considerate examination and processing of evidence has the potential to prove a person innocent or guilty of the highest crimes. Making the examiner directly or indirectly responsible for drastically affecting or ending a person’s life.
- If you decide to skip a step be very, very sure because, if you are wrong, the blame falls on you and you alone.
- That decision can drastically affect your life.
Steps in examining spiritual evidence
I am not aware of any sequential processing charts to guide you through examination of spiritual latency. I suppose I might try my hand at making one in a future post. However, the mistake of letting one’s pride-in-self override the experience of those who have come before is the same.
There are plenty of people, theologies, and ideologies to tell you what decision to make. We all must decide to make a choice, or not decide, and choose nolo contendere (no contest).
So what if the decision is wrong?
You now know the potential end results not following steps in examining physical evidence. I seriously request you look at the end results of NOT following the steps of finding truth in the world’s major religions.
I have looked at each of them and found Christianity to have the simplest end results. Death brings you immediately into the presence of the Creator. The choice you have made to believe: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was sent by the Creator, and did die as sacrificial payment for your sins (past-present-and future), did rise from the grave, and did ascend back to heaven to reign over us; brings you eternal life without pain, sorrow, or hardship. The choice to not believe sends you to an eternity outside of God’s love, in pain, sorrow, and hardship. Pretty straight forward, no do-overs, ifs-ands-or-buts; simply heaven or hell—based on one decision.
Look at what the major religions teach about afterlife. How many hoops do you have to jump through to get to heaven? Or is it even possible? Which one do you NOT want to get wrong? Be very, very, sure about this one. The choice is yours. If you’re wrong the blame will fall on you, and you alone.