Forensic science (often shortened to forensics) is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences and technologies to investigate and establish facts of interest in relation to criminal or civil law. There is little rigorous research to support its accuracy and reliability. The word forensic comes from the Latin forēnsis, meaning "of or before the forum. " In Roman times, a criminal charge meant presenting the case before a group of public individuals in the forum.
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But letting citizens do police work — encouraging them even, by offering rewards — is not without risks.