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Deaths due to electrocution: An evaluation of death scene investigations and autopsy findings
Brittani K Massey, Mohammed A Sait, William L. A. Johnson, Mary Ripple, David R Fowler, Ling Li
October-December 2018, 4(4):179-183
The purpose of the study was to delineate the epidemiological characteristics of electrocution deaths in Maryland, identify any potential risks, and address preventive measures. A retrospective review of all the deaths due to electrocution was conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in the State of Maryland from 2005 to 2015. During the 11-year period, a total of 55 electrocution deaths were identified from the autopsy cases at the statewide medical examiner system. More males died of electrocution than females with its ratio of (M: F) = 9:1. Of the 55 cases, 67.3% were White, 18.2% were African-American, 12.7% were Hispanic, and 1.8% were other races. The age of the victims ranged from 4 to 83 years with mean age of 40 years. >96% deaths due to accidents and 3.4% were suicide. The majority of deaths (70.9%) were caused by high-voltage circuits. Approximately 64% of fatalities were work-related accidents. The study indicated that electrocution deaths frequently affected young male workers who were in contact with a high-voltage currents while on the job. The detailed death scene investigation and autopsy findings are presented. The potential hazards of electricity must continue to be addressed in public safety campaigns to prevent such deaths. Strategies should ensure safe work environments for any contact with electric currents.
  24,957 1,109 2
A comparative study of human and animal hairs: Microscopic hair comparison and cytochrome c oxidase I species identification
Venusia Cortellini, Anna Carobbio, Gloria Brescia, Nicoletta Cerri, Andrea Verzeletti
January-March 2019, 5(1):20-23
Human and animal hairs have been used in forensic investigations for over a century. Hair is stable under adverse natural conditions; hence, it is often recovered at the crime scene, and it is necessary to determine whether the hair is of human or animal origin. Morphological and genetic characteristics are useful to differentiate human hair from animal hair. In the present study, we analyzed the distinguishing characteristics of hair of various species. In addition, we explore species identification by cytochrome c oxidase I mitochondrial gene analysis. We confirm that both the microscopic and molecular analyses of hairs are useful in forensic investigations.
  24,719 933 7
Significance of Dental Records in Personal Identification in Forensic Sciences
Vagish Kumar L Shanbhag
January-March 2016, 2(1):39-43
Forensic odontology is a branch that connects dentistry and the legal profession. One of the members in the forensic investigation team is a dentist. Dentists play an important and significant role in various aspects of the identification of persons in various forensic circumstances. However, several dentists and legal professionals are quite ignorant of this fascinating aspect of forensic odontology. A need was felt to fill this gap. The dental record is a legal document possessed by the dentist and it contains subjective and objective information about the patient. A PubMed search and Google search were done for articles highlighting the importance of dental records in forensic sciences using the key words "forensic odontology, forensic dentistry, forensic dentists, identification, dental records, and dental chart". A total of 42 articles relevant to the title of the article were found and reviewed. The present article highlights the role of dentists in forensic sciences, their possible contributions to forensics, and the various aspects of forensic dentistry, thus bridging the gap of knowledge between the legal and the dental fraternities.
  16,386 1,310 5
Analysis of errors in forensic science
Mingxiao Du
July-September 2017, 3(3):139-143
Reliability of expert testimony is one of the foundations of judicial justice. Both expert bias and scientific errors affect the reliability of expert opinion, which in turn affects the trustworthiness of the findings of fact in legal proceedings. Expert bias can be eliminated by replacing experts; however, it may be more difficult to eliminate scientific errors. From the perspective of statistics, errors in operation of forensic science include systematic errors, random errors, and gross errors. In general, process repetition and abiding by the standard ISO/IEC:17025: 2005, general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, during operation are common measures used to reduce errors that originate from experts and equipment, respectively. For example, to reduce gross errors, the laboratory can ensure that a test is repeated several times by different experts. In applying for forensic principles and methods, the Federal Rules of Evidence 702 mandate that judges consider factors such as peer review, to ensure the reliability of the expert testimony. As the scientific principles and methods may not undergo professional review by specialists in a certain field, peer review serves as an exclusive standard. This study also examines two types of statistical errors. As false-positive errors involve a higher possibility of an unfair decision-making, they should receive more attention than false-negative errors.
  14,725 992 8
Fat Embolism as a Rare Complication of Large-volume Liposuction in a Plastic Patient
Xiaoliang Fu, Shang Gao, Zhenyu Hu, Yadong Guo, Jifeng Cai
January-June 2015, 1(1):68-71
Fat embolism is a dreaded complication in of procedures of multiple disciplines including plastic surgery. As the popularity of liposuction increases, cases of pulmonary embolism after liposuction are increasingly reported. However, documents of cerebral embolism after liposuction are rarely presented. The degree of disability with respect to Fat fat Embolism embolism Symdrome syndrome (FES) is a Gordian Knot in the evaluation of legal medicine. Therefore, it is of great significance for us to that we report the case of a 30-year-old woman who underwent a large-volume liposuction that resulted in serious complications, especially cerebral embolism. Untypical symptoms of fat embolism hamper the clinical diagnosis, particularly after a surgical procedure such as liposuction. Such a seldom-seen case would easily trigger medical disputes, especially in countries like China suffering increasing claims of medical malpractice and, medical negligences and lawsuits. Detailed descriptions of this case are presented below along with the discussion of the clinical symptoms and the diagnostic approaches to fat embolism.
  14,589 846 3
Detecting Latent Prints on Stone and Other Difficult Porous Surfaces via Indanedione/Zinc Chloride and Laser
Shiquan LIU, Zhongliang MI, Jian Wu, Brian Dalrymple
October-December 2016, 2(4):203-207
Lasers and alternate light sources have been recognized as effective tools for latent print detection for over three decades. Luminescence often increases friction ridge contrast to reveal impressions otherwise undetectable. Indanedione/zinc chloride excited by a forensic light source is widely recognized as an effective process for developing latent prints on porous surfaces. This study was designed to evaluate the use of a combination of luminescence excitation and indanedione with zinc chloride to detect latent prints on stones, bricks, and similar difficult porous surfaces. The wavelengths evaluated included 400 nm (violet), 447 nm (blue), 532 nm (green), and 645 nm (red). Latent prints were deposited on a variety of porous surfaces including bricks, cement stones, wood, and cotton fabric, all commonly encountered at crime scenes in China. The surfaces were examined using white light (light-emitting diode flashlight) and laser light sources separately, both before and after treatment with indanedione/zinc chloride. The goal of this study was to evaluate various light sources for their effectiveness in detecting impressions developed by indanedione/zinc chloride on difficult porous surfaces. Results indicated that latent prints on some brick and cement stone surfaces may be effectively detected using 532 nm laser excitation after indanedione/zinc chloride processing.
  14,992 412 -
The Hot Issues and Future Direction of Forensic Document Examination in China
Bing Li
January-March 2016, 2(1):22-27
The domain of forensic document examination consists of a variety of professional tasks related to the history and preliminary of questioned documents. The wide area of tasks implemented by forensic document examiners includes the skill to identify the authorship of handwriting and signature; discriminate among genuine, imitated, or disguised handwriting; to examine and analyze components of inks, papers, and other materials connected with documents; and other highly skilled analyses based on specialized technique. The field of handwriting examination is tightly related to empirical knowledge and practical experience. Handwriting is usually thought to be behavioral activities that are identifiable due to the appearance of features and characteristics within the writing. When we assess these features we universally analyze them in two aspects: Both quality and quantity of writing. As mentioned above, the evaluation of quality and quantity is performed by forensic document examiners. The problem is how to conduct this kind of evaluation related to empirical knowledge and experience. There is not consistent answer yet, although many researchers devote themselves to explore in this hot issue, such as mathematical methods applied in handwriting analysis. In this article, several mathematical methods applied to forensic document field are deciphered in domestic perspective of China. In the digital age, we all inevitably deal with problems with the help of computer or computer technology. We also pay close attention to the computer technique assistant in the field of forensic document examination. Standards or criteria of forensic document examination are still hot issues in China. Although we established a few standards or criterion based on requires of practice, it is also a lack of standards or criterion associated to trainees and continuing education in view of practitioners. At the end of this article, the author intends to discuss a piece of a challenge to forensic document examination, which are also universal issues abroad. Those who are critical of the current state of knowledge in this area argue that members of the judiciary have failed to sufficiently address the shortcomings of the forensic document evidence proffered in criminal trials. Specifically, critics of forensic document examination argue that little valuable wording exists in the report to support the validity and reliability of the methodology and findings of forensic document examination.
  12,342 951 4
Application of molecular markers in wildlife DNA forensic investigations
Ishani Mitra, Soma Roy, Ikramul Haque
July-September 2018, 4(3):156-160
Wildlife DNA Forensic is the application of regular DNA forensic methods for proper identification of wildlife parts and their products. Recent advances in molecular genetic studies have generated a new and exciting range of possible applications of genetic methods to wildlife research, conservation, and management. These advances have led to an explosion in genetic research on wildlife for their identification at molecular level and have increased interest among researchers working in other scientific disciplines for application of genetic technology in wildlife DNA forensic field. Different molecular markers have been developed and being routinely used for analysis, such as nuclear markers (variable number of tandem repeats, single-nucleotide polymorphisms), mitochondrial markers (cytochrome b, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, 16S rRNA, 12S rRNA, and D-Loop) and microsatellites. As soon as, a case is reported under Wildlife Protection Act (1972) the case exhibits are sent to forensic laboratories for proper analysis of species for appropriate application of law.
  12,135 973 -
Handwriting identification: Challenges and solutions
Liu Xiaohong, Lian Yuanyuan
July-September 2018, 4(3):167-173
As a historic technology, handwriting identification, especially that of Chinese characters, plays an important role in judicial trials both in domestic and abroad. However, in recent decades, handwriting identification has faced a challenging situation; the scientificity of handwriting identification has been questioned. This article analyzes the reasons for questioning handwriting identification, focusing on the aspects of standards, methods, quantitative analysis of handwriting identification, and qualification, training, and assessment of document examiners. Besides, corresponding solutions for the above aspects and some other characteristics, such as systematic identification, cross-examination of expert opinions, and rule of corroboration, are proposed.
  11,532 494 -
Transfer of Fibres onto Knife Blades in Stabbing Events: Distribution and Determination of the Stabbing Sequence
Michael Schnegg, Line Gueissaz, Jessica Rodriguez, Sabine Hess, Genevieve Massonnet
July-December 2015, 1(2):84-92
Knives are among the weapons most frequently involved in criminal cases. They represent the most encountered category of weapons in Swiss homicide cases (completed and attempted homicides considered) and are also frequently employed in assault cases, notably bodily injuries. Whenever a knife is involved in a stabbing event, DNA and fingerprints may be sought. When garments are damaged, fibres can also be investigated. Fibres from the victim's garments might transfer onto the blade of the knife used in the assault and can thus provide useful information to determine whether a particular weapon could have be used to stab the victim. This study simulates vertical stabbings into garments with the use of a special holding device. Different types of knives and blades straight or serrated were used as weapons. Two garments presenting different shedding capacities and garment structures were also considered for the simulations. The distribution of fibres transferred onto the blade (number and position) was recorded for each simulation performed. Sequences of stabbings into the two garments were also carried out to assess whether the order of the stabs could be determined. Several parameters were considered, notably the distribution of fibres transferred onto the blade. The transfer of fibres inside the stab damage ballistic soap was used in this study and on the area near the second damage was also investigated. This study provides new insight into the interpretation of fibres transferred onto knives after a single stab or a sequence of stabbings and into determining the stabbing sequence. Finally, the study brings some guidelines for the search and recovery of fibres on the crime scene and on the blades of knives.
  8,409 1,983 9
Infanticide: A Concept
Arneet Arora, Jayanthi Yadav, Sanjay Kumar Yadav, Hans Raj Singh
January-March 2017, 3(1):42-46
Infanticide is killing of a child <12 months of age by a mother who has not fully recovered from the effects of pregnancy, giving birth and lactation, and suffers some degree of mental disturbance. However, in India, infanticide means unlawful destruction of a newly born child and is regarded as murder in law and is punishable under section 302 completely neglecting postpartum psychiatric state of mothers' mind. Several studies have indicated a high incidence of postpartum depression in mother of developing as well as developed countries. The lack of awareness in medical fraternity, legal experts, and society leads to miscarriage of justice. In this article, we have compared legal status of infanticide in various countries vis-a-vis India and thus tried to arrive at a more humane and pragmatic approach in cases of infanticide keeping in mind the psychological state of mother, gender inequality, weak public health infrastructure, and the prevalent practice of homicide of unwanted/female child. A psychiatric or medical assessment model of mother by panel of experts in case of infanticide should be evolved. Information and awareness of postpartum psychiatric illness among medical professionals, legal persons, and society is an important aspect.
  8,959 1,030 1
Meta-analysis of the Association between Serotonin Transporter Polymorphisms and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Haojie Qin, Guohui Xu, Xinmin Pan, Yaonan Mo
October-December 2016, 2(4):179-184
The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene has been considered one of the risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), but the association remains unconfirmed. This meta-analysis was performed to quantitatively summarize the evidence for such a relationship. PubMed, EMBASE, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched for eligible studies within a range of published years from 1990 to December 2015. The odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the different associations. A total of 8 studies with 624 cases and 796 controls were included for 5-HTT promoter polymorphism, 5 studies with 418 cases and 542 controls for intron 2, and 3 studies with 253 cases and 334 controls for haplotype. The pooled examinations showed an overall increased SIDS risk for the 5-HTT promoter polymorphism (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.03–2.63, P = 0.035 for LL vs. LS and SS; OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.04–2.04, P = 0.028 for L vs. S), but no association (OR = 1.00, 95% CI = 0.75–1.33, P = 0.994 for 10 + 9 carriers vs. 12/12; OR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.79–1.19, P = 0.753 for 10 + 9 vs. 12) for intron 2 polymorphism, and an unreliable association (OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.31–0.87, P = 0.013) for S-9 and S-10 haplotypes. This meta-analysis suggests that the L allele or LL homozygote of 5-HTT promoter polymorphism has an increased risk for SIDS, while intron 2 polymorphism has no association with SIDS.
  6,004 3,902 1
Brain injury biomechanics and abusive head trauma
Rudy J Castellani, Carl J Schmidt
April-June 2018, 4(2):91-100
Contemporary biomechanical theory of traumatic brain injury has its foundation in Holbourn's thesis on shear strain and Ommaya's primate experimentation demonstrating the role of rotation in a variety of lesions including subdural hematoma (SDH) and diffuse axonal injury. Empirical human observations have since confirmed, for the most part, the early concepts. Ethical concerns regarding primate research, however, have prompted in vitro models, which in turn has led to challenges with respect to the correlation between in vitro observations and the clinical data. Despite these challenges, medicolegal proceedings may call upon biomechanical engineers to reconstruct complex injury scenarios and offer opinions on the scientific plausibility of clinical disease states, such as SDH, hemorrhagic retinopathy, and cerebral edema, associated with hypothetical or proffered action sequences during the course of an unwitnessed homicide. It is important to note, however, that in vitro models by their nature are low-evidence quality studies that attempt to advance hypotheses but do not address cause and effect. As a whole, biomechanical models, as they pertain specifically to the brain and spine, are mathematically imprecise. Often, endpoints of limited relevance are relied upon (e.g., skull fracture thresholds), which predictably overestimate the in vivo risk of significant injury. Given the increasing role of biomechanical engineering in the interpretation of fatal pediatric head trauma, a heightened awareness of the limitations warranted.
  8,967 799 3
Depression in prison population: Demographic and clinical predictors
Oluyinka Emmanuel Majekodunmi, Adetunji Obadeji, Lateef Olutoyin Oluwole, Raifu Olawoye Oyelami
July-September 2017, 3(3):122-127
Studies have shown that mental illnesses are more common among the prison population than the general population. However, most studies in this environment had only looked at nonspecific psychiatric morbidities. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of major depressive disorder, its associated sociodemographic and clinical variables in a population of inmates in Nigeria. Institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 196 prisoners consisting of 136 awaiting trials (AT) and 60 convicted inmates (CI). Simple random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. Data were collected using a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. Depression was assessed with the depression module of the Structured Clinical Interview Schedule for Axis 1 Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) Disorders. The diagnosis was made according to the DSM-IV criteria and severity assessed with the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Forty-one (30.1%) of AT compared with 21 (35.0%) of the CI were depressed. The mean total MADRS score for AT was 23.90 standard deviation (SD) ±7.97 while the mean total MADRS score for the convicted was 25.50 SD ± 8.70, P= 0.479. Unlike the general population, there were no sociodemographic predictors of depression. Among the ATs, depression was associated with the presence of physical complaints, having a chronic illness and family history of psychiatric illness among the CI. The prevalence of depression among prisoners was found to be high and associated with clinical variables. Due attention needs to be given to address the mental health needs of the prisoners.
  8,892 827 8
Medicolegal Investigation of Medical Negligence in India: A Report of Forensic Autopsy Case
Raktim Pratim Tamuli
July-September 2016, 2(3):167-170
In general negligence means failure to take proper care over something and according to law negligence means breach of a duty of care which results in damage. Medical negligence is not very uncommon; every now and then cases of medical negligence are reported in the electronic media. Medical Negligence is doing something that one is not supposed to do, or failing to do something that one is supposed to do. Role of Forensic Pathologist in cases of Medical Negligence is always unquestionable. Forensic Pathologists need to explore and maintain a high degree of transparency between the doctors, patients and the law enforcing agencies. In the present case, a person was attacked by a wild animal and he fell down on a rough surface. Immediately he was rushed to a local hospital. The treating doctor stitched the external injury and allowed him to go home; he neither advised any investigation nor kept him under observation to rule out any internal injury. After 12 hours the victim succumbed to death. At autopsy a fractured skull with underlying subdural haemorrhage was noticed. Was not the treating doctor negligent in this case? Were the protocols followed? What should be the role of a Forensic Pathologist in such kind of cases?
  8,999 668 -
Resurgence of Fentanyl as a Drug of Abuse
Lauren P Tamburro, Jenan H Al-Hadidi, Ljubisa Jovan Dragovic
April-June 2016, 2(2):111-114
Fentanyl, a powerful opioid analgesic introduced over 50 years ago, has a major role in modern anesthesia and chronic pain relief but has also gained a major role in illicit use. After a spike in fentanyl abuse between 2005 and 2007, fentanyl deaths decreased until 2010, with the introduction of “abuse-deterrent” OxyContin. Our data indicate a recent rise in fentanyl-related deaths beginning in 2013, which follows national trends. With the re-emergence of the synthetic narcotic analgesic of high potency as a popular drug of abuse and the alarmingly increasing mortality associated with its abuse, there are profound implications for public health, health care providers, law enforcement, and the society in general.
  8,681 756 11
From De Facto Fact-finder to Expert Witness? Transition of Forensic Examination in China
Thomas Y Man
July-December 2015, 1(2):75-83
Forensic examination plays an important role in China's judicial system, especially in the fact-finding process of both civil and criminal proceedings. Since 2005, this system has experienced gradual, yet significant changes. This paper seeks to examine the major themes of these changes in the context of the continued conceptual reformulation and structural realignment of civil and criminal procedures and the ongoing effort to codify evidence law with transforming impact on China's judicial system and culture. Emphasis is given to the transition of the forensic examination system from an officially (both administrative and judicial) administered fact-finding mechanism with powerful impact on the courts' truth-seeking activities to, at least partially, an expert witness system with significant participation and control by the parties' to judicial proceedings. A convergence of influence from both the continental inquisitorial tradition and the common law adversarial structure appears to have strongly informed the process and direction of the Chinese forensic examination reform. This paper attempts to explain the reasons for this convergence of influence, identify the trend and direction of this development, and provide observations and suggestions for further improvement of the forensic examination system in several key aspects with particular reference to the legal principles and judicial practices under the Federal Rules of Evidence of the United States.
  4,801 4,577 -
Determination of Diphenylamine in Gunshot Residue by HPLC-MS/MS
Hongcheng Mei, Yangke Quan, Wenhao Wang, Hong Zhou, Zhanfang Liu, Huixia Shi, Peng Wang
January-March 2016, 2(1):18-21
A high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) protocol was developed for the determination of diphenylamine (DPA). Four productions of DPA were selected for qualitative assay and the peak area of the main product ion for quantitation. By means of separation using an Agilent Extend-C18 column (CA, USA) (150 mm × 4.6 mm, 5 μm) with methanol-water (90:10) as the mobile phase, DPA was detected by electrospray ionization (ESI) tandem mass spectrometry in positive mode. The linearity of the peak area versus concentration ranged 5-500 ng/mL, r 2 = 0.9978. The limit of detection (S/N =3) of this method was 0.3 ng/mL. This method is applicable for the determination of DPA in gunshot residue.
  8,344 826 15
Vitreous humor: A review of biochemical constituents in postmortem interval estimation
Weichen Li, Yunfeng Chang, Zijia Cheng, Jiang Ling, Leiming Han, Xingmei Li, Yanjun Ding
April-June 2018, 4(2):85-90
Postmortem changes in the biochemical constituents of the vitreous humor have been widely used to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) over the past several decades. However, few reviews have summarized the relationship between the postmortem vitreous biochemical constituents and time of death. Herein, the relationship between PMI and single biochemical components, including vitreous potassium, hypoxanthine, and amino acids, as well as comparisons of each statistical parameter in the formula, is summarized. We also discuss other compounds such as urea and uric acid, which have no direct relationship with PMI. Utility of multiple constituent simultaneous analysis for estimating PMI is being increasingly investigated. The promising idea of using simultaneous analysis of multiple constituents to determine PMI is proposed as a future research direction.
  8,141 993 1
Lucilia sericata (Meigen) and Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Development Rate and its Implications for Forensic Entomology
Kapil Verma, Reject Paul
July-September 2016, 2(3):146-150
Forensic entomology is basically a science that is based on the scientific study of the invasion and succession pattern of arthropods with their developmental stages of different species found on the decomposed cadavers during legal investigations. The developmental rate of Lucilia sericata and Chrysomya megacephala was studied in beef liver for the correlation of time duration in each phase with the temperature and climate. The obtained data belong to L. sericata at temperatures between 22°C and 26°C (mean - 24°C) and relative humidity 50% ±10% and C. megacephala at temperatures between 23°C and 27°C (mean - 25°C) and relative humidity 55% ±10%. From the analysis of results, it was observed that in the climatic conditions of the study area, time since death assessment involving L. sericata was found to be with a potential of maximum 10-11 days and C. megacephala with 8-9 days. The data emerged as results from the present work would be beneficial for investigations involving decomposed dead body remains for the assessment of time since death.
  8,308 807 2
The Relevant Physical Trace in Criminal Investigation
Durdica Hazard
Ahead of print schedule 0, 0(0):0-0
A criminal investigation requires the forensic scientist to search and to interpret vestiges of a criminal act that happened in the past. The forensic scientist is one of the many stakeholders who take part in the information quest within the criminal justice system. She reads the investigation scene in search of physical traces that should enable her to tell the story of the offense/crime that allegedly occurred. The challenge for any investigator is to detect and recognize relevant physical traces in order to provide clues for investigation and intelligence purposes, and that will constitute sound and relevant evidence for the court. This article shows how important it is to consider the relevancy of physical traces from the beginning of the investigation and what might influence the evaluation process. The exchange and management of information between the investigation stakeholders are important. Relevancy is a dimension that needs to be understood from the standpoints of law enforcement personnel and forensic scientists with the aim of strengthening investigation and ultimately the overall judicial process.
  8,758 319 7
Recent advances in forensic odontology: An overview
P Aishwarya Menon, N Anoop Kumar
July-September 2021, 7(3):105-108
Forensic odontology is a branch of forensic sciences that uses the skill of a dentist in personal identification during mass calamities, sexual assault, and child abuse to name a few. Forensic odontology is an evolving science and has a greater scope of development. Recent advances in the field of genetics and molecular biology have contributed to the rapid growth of forensic odontology. In case of a crime scene, forensic odontologists play a major role in investigating and interpreting dental evidence. Forensic odontologists utilize the knowledge of dentistry in bite mark analysis, fixation of identity in mass disasters, and age estimation. Thus, the duty and responsibility of forensic odontologists has increased in recent years. Therefore, practicing dentists and dental students should be made aware of the available newer technologies and its use in forensic dentistry. This article gives an overview of recent advances used in identification in forensic dentistry.
  7,729 670 1
Journey of DNA Evidence in Legal Arena: An Insight on Its Legal Perspective Worldwide and Highlight on Admissibility in India
Ramakant Gupta, Swati Gupta, Manju Gupta
April-June 2016, 2(2):102-106
DNA profiling is one of the powerful breakthroughs in forensics. This specialized technique has made the identification of an individual possible even by a tiny shred of tissue or drop of blood thus, has strongly revolutionized various criminal investigations. Rape, paternity, and murder cases are the type of criminal cases commonly solved by the use of this technique. It has been recently introduced to forensic odontology and is also used frequently. Although this is a powerful and reliable scientific technique but its forensic use is a major contribution to the debate on law reform. The application of DNA profiling in the criminal justice system, i.e., the admissibility of DNA evidence in court of law is an important issue which is being faced by the courts and forensic experts worldwide today. Thus, a proper legal outlook is required while dealing with this kind of scientific evidence. Therefore, this review intends to make forensic experts/odontologists aware about the admissibility of DNA evidence in court, with a highlight on the laws related to the admissibility of evidence worldwide, having a special focus on the laws related to admissibility of evidence in Indian judicial system. For this review, the literature was overviewed from articles on DNA evidence and admissibility retrieved by searches on electronic databases such as Google, PubMed, and EMBASE from 1975 through July 2015.
  7,519 830 3
Examining Scientific Evidence in the USA and Chinese Courts: A Comparative Study
Bangda Chen
Ahead of print schedule 0, 0(0):0-0
The critical examination of scientific evidence is crucial in attempting to distinguish genuine science from "junk science" and provides judges with an important basis upon which to determine the credibility of expert witnesses giving scientific evidence. From studying the law in the USA, we learn that the process for examining scientific evidence in court is based on full discovery of the proposed evidence before trial and the availability of expert witnesses at trial to testify orally and be examined and cross-examined. Empirical studies suggest that the opportunities to critically examine scientific evidence in Chinese courts are not so freely available. Discovery is neglected, thus limiting the effectiveness of cross-examination and current rules do not encourage oral testimony or effective cross-examination. To solve these problems, the disclosure duty should be put on the prosecution, rather than the defendant. Scientific evidence should be discovered. Disclosure must include basis, process, reliance material, and methods of forensic appraisals. In trial process, prosecution has transferred the case file to court, where the defendant will be able to copy the scientific evidence. Strengthen the neutrality of experts assistants established by the 192th article of the new Criminal Procedural Law.
  7,377 233 -
Application of a Standard Procedure to Avoid Errors When Comparing Fingerprints with Their Reversals in Fake Documents
Carlos Magno Alves Girelli
January-March 2016, 2(1):60-64
Laterally reversed (mirrored) fingerprints are difficult to detect by applying routine search procedures. One suggestion to avoid errors when dealing with probable reversals is to perform comparisons with both direct and reversed fingerprints. This simple procedure has been applied and led to the detection of two more cases of reversed fingerprint usage in fake documents. In one of the reported cases, experts found on the web the same fingerprints used by criminals in fake documents. This finding is important because it indicates that matched fingerprints do not necessarily link different criminal cases.
  6,942 449 1