Be able to describe the different disciplines of Forensic Science and its applications.
1. The forensic scientists must remain an advocate only for the best that reliable science can bring to the data that we call “evidence”.
2. The forensic job is exciting but we must remember that often dealing with death it can be emotionally draining.
3. To be a forensic scientist it requires the appropriate integration of basic human emotions known as reason.
4. One important characteristic of a forensic scientist is adaptability, and a willingness to advance the common good.
5. Forensic science operates in the service of the public.
Physicians specializing in pathology and diagnosis of disease.
Perform autopsies and diagnose circumstances surrounding the cause and manner of death.
Pathology means 'Study of disease, its causes and its diagnosis.
They determine whether the death was:
Natural- due entirely (or nearly so) to natural disease processes.
Accidental- due to injury when there is no evidence of intent to harm
Suicidal- due to injury when there is no evidence of intent to harm
Homicidal- due to a volitional act of another person with the intent to cause fear, harm or death
What is a Coroner?
Most important role was the investigation of sudden death, and they also dealt with crimes such as burglary, rape and theft, as he held jurisdiction over all "felons".
Coroner interpreted as “crowner of the king” and assumed a judicial function initially collecting records of taxpayers.
Coming to the crime scene and determining whether the person is dead.
Identifying the body
Notifying the next of kin
Collecting and returning any personal belongings on the body to the family of the deceased
Reviewing Medical History
When death is reported to coroner or medical examiner, a two main questions are asked: • Is the death sudden? (within few hours of symptoms or without symptoms) • Is the death unexpected? (pre-condition?) Diagnosis with a disease. Requires medical history.
Must Be able to discern injuries from treatment from emergency personnel- needle marks, incised wounds, etc
Reviewing Witness Statements
Forensic pathologists seek to gather witness information about activities of deceased prior to death, because: • Assists in determining jurisdiction of death • Assists in recreating circumstances of death • Allows use of a hypothesis which can be tested scientifically based on statement of witness
Examining the Crime Scene