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The chain of custody, along with evidence tagging and labeling, is an example of _____. a) a protocol b) a control c) an evidence collector d) a first responder

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The best answer is (a) a protocol.

A protocol is a system of procedures that an organization sets in place, to ensure that certain steps are taken as a matter of routine, so that similar results are reached every time.  In the criminal legal system, the method of handling evidence requires a protocol, so that when the case eventually comes to trial, the prosecutors can assure the judge and jury that the evidence is in the same state as when it was initially found, and that nobody has tampered with it in the interim.  There are very specific steps set out for picking up a piece of evidence, for the way it is handled, the way it is transported to a storage facility, and the way it is stored until trial.  By following all the steps of this protocol, the prosecution has one less problem to deal with at trial.

If the protocol is not followed, that does not automatically mean that the prosecution would lose its case.  However, it could raise suspicions about the validity of a key piece of evidence and, if the evidence is questioned, then an otherwise guilty defendant could get released.

An argument might be made that the answer could be (b) a control, since all these steps are a way of controlling the validity of the evidence.  But protocol is a better answer.

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