SUBJECT AREA Criminology
CREATED ON 16th April 2017
COMPLETED ON 19th April 2017
Expert hired: SHANTELPHD

Evidentiary Issues in a Fire/Arson Investigation: The Jack Dempsey Case

In 1995 Jack Dempsey was convicted for setting fire to a Cleveland, Ohio building. Firefighters found Mr. Dempsey unconscious in the basement of the building as it burned. Police charged him with arson and he served more than six years in prison. However, his conviction has been overturned and he has been awarded more than $300,000 in damages. You can read about the case and Mr. Dempsey’s settlement here: There are additional resources on this case listed here: Supreme Court of Ohio Appellate Court Decision Court News Ohio article National Registry of Exonerations article After reading the assigned chapter (Chapter 17) and the provided resources about the case, please answer the following questions about the case. Be sure to use scholarly and professional sources to support your assertions. Cite your sources throughout the body of your work and list your references at the end of your initial post: Based on the chapter reading and the provided case history, analyze commonly accepted forensic techniques and contemporary specialized techniques regarding fire/arson investigation focusing on whether or not they were used in this case and how that use, or failure to use, influenced the investigation. Discuss why you think police believed Mr. Dempsey set fire to the building? Briefly define cognitive bias then discuss what role cognitive bias may play in classifying a fire as an arson. Discuss some motives for committing arson including the most common. Based on what you read in the news story, did it appear that Mr. Dempsey had any motive to set the building on fire? Evaluate accepted methodologies employed in contemporary crime scene management and how these methodologies were or were not employed in this investigation. Generally speaking, what are the challenges for CSIs with determining whether a fire scene is actually arson or simply an accident? Include a brief explanation of how to process and retrieve trace evidence in a fire scenario. Guided Response: Review several of your classmates’ introductory posts, and respond to at least three of your peers by Day 7 of the week. You are encouraged to post your required replies earlier in the week to promote more meaningful and interactive discourse in this discussion. Respond to at least one classmate who expressed similar views to your own. In addition, respond to at least one classmate whose views differ from your own. Consider suggestions your peers make regarding improvements to address discussion issues. Identify a suggestion you agree with and discuss why this suggestion is meaningful and how it would help address a particular issue. Identify a suggestion you do not fully agree with and discuss what concerns you about this suggest and how it would not help address a particular issue and/or would have other consequences regarding that particular issue.
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16 April 2017
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16 April 2017
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16 April 2017
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16 April 2017
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19 April 2017
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19 April 2017
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19 April 2017
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