Saturday, January 17, 2009

Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation or Gaming the Vote

Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation

Author: Barry A J Fisher

This latest edition of Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation examines concepts, field-tested techniques and procedures, and technical information concerning crime scene investigation. It has been widely adopted by police academies, community colleges, and universities and is recommended for preparation for certification exams. Written in an easy-to-read style, this comprehensive text offers up-to-date technical expertise that the author has developed over many years in law enforcement. Includes check-off lists, case studies, and 16 pages of full-color illustrated photos. Also included is an appendix on equipment for crime scene investigations.

Table of Contents:
The Author
2First Officer at the Crime Scene25
3The Crime Scene Investigator43
4Specialized Personnel at the Crime Scene57
5Processing the Crime Scene75
6Establishing Identity93
7Trace Evidence and Miscellaneous Material149
8Blood and Other Biological Evidence199
9Impression Evidence221
10Firearms Examination257
11Arson and Explosives287
12Illicit Drugs and Toxicology311
13Investigating Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse Crimes327
14Burglary Investigation341
15Motor Vehicle Investigation357
16Homicide Investigation379
App. AEquipment for Crime Scene Investigations459
App. BForensic Science-Related Websites463
App. CTerrorism and Domestic Preparedness Websites469

Read also Italy in Small Bites or Winners Circle

Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (and What We Can Do About It)

Author: William Poundston

Our Electoral System is Fundamentally Flawed, But There’s a Simple and Fair Solution
At least five U.S. presidential elections have been won by the second most popular candidate. The reason was a “spoiler”—a minor candidate who takes enough votes away from the most popular candidate to tip the election to someone else. The spoiler effect is more than a glitch. It is a consequence of one of the most surprising intellectual discoveries of the twentieth century: the “impossibility theorem” of Nobel laureate economist Kenneth Arrow. The impossibility theorem asserts that voting is fundamentally unfair—a finding that has not been lost on today’s political consultants. Armed with polls, focus groups, and smear campaigns, political strategists are exploiting the mathematical faults of the simple majority vote. In recent election cycles, this has led to such unlikely tactics as Republicans funding ballot drives for Green spoilers and Democrats paying for right-wing candidates’ radio ads. Gaming the Vote shows that there is a solution to the spoiler problem that will satisfy both right and left. A system called range voting, already widely used on the Internet, is the fairest voting method of all, according to computer studies. Despite these findings, range voting remains controversial, and Gaming the Vote assesses the obstacles confronting any attempt to change the American electoral system. The latest of several books by William Poundstone on the theme of how important scientific ideas have affected the real world, Gaming the Vote is a wry exposé of how the political systemreally works, and a call to action.

The New York Times - Janet Maslin

William Poundstone's Gaming the Vote arrives amid unusually high reader interest in equitable voting. And Mr. Poundstone is a clear, entertaining explicator of election science. He easily bridges the gaps between theoretical and popular thinking, between passionate political debate and cool mathematical certainty.

Publishers Weekly

Behind the standard one man-one vote formula lies a labyrinth of bizarre dysfunction, according to this engaging study of the science of voting. America's system is "the least sensible way to vote," argues Poundstone (Fortune's Formula), prone to vote-splitting fiascoes like the 2000 election. Unfortunately, according to the author, a famous "impossibility theorem" states that no voting procedure can accurately gauge the will of the people without failures and paradoxes. (More optimistically, Poundstone contends that important problems are solved by "range voting," in which voters score each candidate independently on a 1-10 scale.) Poundstone provides a lucid survey of electoral systems and their eccentric proponents (Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, loved voting novelties), studded with colorful stories of election skullduggery by campaign consultants, whom he likens to "terrorists... exploiting the mathematical vulnerabilities of voting itself." His lively, accessible mix of high theory and low politics merits a thumbs-up. Illus. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Donna L. Davey, Margaret Heilbrun - Library Journal

The concept of fair elections is considered a hallmark of democratic society, but sometimes it's just a concept. With zeal and style, Poundstone digs into a long-term problem and suggests strategies for improving the system now. For example, he discusses range voting, where balloters rank the candidates rather than casting one vote. For political science collections in public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ10/15/07.]

Kirkus Reviews

Why the United States's pluralistic voting system doesn't always pick the "right" winner-and, more importantly, what could be done to make it better. Vote splitting, the phenomenon in which two candidates of similar political persuasion "split" the support of like-minded voters and put the least-popular candidate in office, is common in the United States, argues Poundstone (Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street, 2005, etc.). Under the current one-person-one-vote, plurality-based system in place, it's also virtually inevitable. By his calculation, in the 45 presidential elections since 1828, at least five (11 percent) have been won by the second most popular candidate because of a "spoiler." Is it possible to come up with a fairer voting method? He explores an array of alternatives that might be bewildering in less capable hands: Borda voting (ranking all candidates from most to least preferred); Condorcet voting (holding a succession of two-way votes between every possible pair of candidates); instant-runoff voting (a series in which the least popular candidates are successively eliminated); and proportional representation (an offshoot of instant-runoff that attempts to reproduce the diversity of the electorate on the smaller scale of the legislature). Poundstone concludes that the only system that can't be manipulated so that the "wrong" candidate wins is one called "range voting," in which voters assign rankings to candidates and the one with the most "points" wins. According to Poundstone, computer simulations have shown that range voting produces a higher level of voter satisfaction: the feeling that, regardless ofan election's outcome, they would not change their vote. The dilemma, he acknowledges, is that our current, "unfair" system is supported by a wide variety of candidates, strategists and party hacks with a strong interest in retaining a two-party, winner-take-all system. This makes adopting, or even discussing, a new system a formidable challenge. Convincing, entertaining and authoritative overview of voting systems and their pitfalls.

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