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Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.622
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 417  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1752-928X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3184 journals]
  • DISCREDITED THEORIES AND COURT DECISIONS
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 September 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Roger W. Byard
       
  • Common errors in writing the cause of death certificate in the Middle East
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Mohammed Madadin, Aishah S. Alhuman, Naimah A. Bushulaybi, Assayl R. Alotaibi, Hala A. Aldakhil, Arwa Y. Alghamdi, Norah K. Al-Abdulwahab, Shahad Y. Assiri, Nesreen A. Alumair, Fai A. Almulhim, Ritesh G. Menezes A death certificate is an official document in which the medical practitioner primarily records the cause of death sequence, the time interval between the onset of the cause of death and death, and personal details of the deceased. Errors in death certificate documentation are not uncommon. We aim to review the common errors in writing the cause of death certificate in the Middle East. For this review, we searched the PubMed database using a comprehensive search strategy to identify studies from the Middle East that reported errors in the cause of death certification from inception to August 17, 2019. Of the 308 items initially identified, 5 were eligible for inclusion. These studies were reported from only a few countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Palestine) in the Middle East and did not represent all the countries geographically located in the Middle East. The Middle East is not immune to errors in the medical certification of the cause of death. Absence of cause of death, inappropriate listing and sequencing of the causes of death, mentioning the mechanism or mode of death instead of the cause of death, absence of time interval between the onset of the cause of death and death, use of abbreviations and symbols instead of formal medical terminology, and absence of the certifying medical practitioner’s signature were the commonly death certification errors observed in this regional literature review. Additional studies to assess death certification errors in all the Middle East countries are needed. Efforts should be made to compulsorily include the teaching and learning of cause of death certification in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Interactive workshops on drafting the cause of death certificate should be periodically conducted for the benefit of the interns and residents.
       
  • Understanding diversity and distribution of the insect assemblages
           associated with carrions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Yuno Do, Seung Yeon Lee, Ki Wha Chung, Tae-Young Moon 375 case studies from 120 publications published over the last three decades on forensic entomology were reviewed to determine how many carcass-associated insects have been described globally and which species are relatively important among carcass-associated insects. A total of 1213 carcass-associated insects belonging to 91 families of 10 orders were described from 375 case studies in nine habitat types of 30 countries with 24 subjects including humans and non-human animals. There were 564 and 515 species from the orders Diptera and Coleoptera, respectively, which was almost 90% of the total species recorded. The richness and distribution of dead body-associated insects considerably differed among countries, habitats, and dead body types. We propose some species based on criteria including distribution, occurrence frequency, and resource preference.
       
  • Mental health pathways from a sexual assault centre: A review of the
           literature
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): C. Brooker, E. Hughes, B. Lloyd-Evans, T. Stefanidou
       
  • Does Organ Donation Impact on Forensic Outcomes' A Review of Coronial
           Outcomes and Criminal Trial Proceedings
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Leo Nunnink, Nigel Stobbs, Chelsea Wallace-Dixon, Belinda Carpenter Despite increases in organ donation rates, there continue to be waiting lists for patients in urgent need of transplantation. Where a death occurs under a number of specific circumstances, donation can only proceed where a coroner consents to donation. In deaths that are reportable under the Coroners Act, concerns about compromising autopsy evidence can be barriers to gaining coronial consent for retrieval.ObjectivesThis study aimed to identify the impact of organ donation, where it did occur, on coronial processes and on trial proceedings where a criminal trial ensued. Where donation was restricted by the coroner or forensic pathologist we sought to determine whether it would have affected forensic determinations.Designand Setting: We retrospectively examined 177 records of reportable deaths referred for organ donation over a four year period in Queensland Australia. We also reviewed records of any criminal proceedings which were commenced in relation to these deaths.ResultsThere were 10 cases in which the forensic pathologist recommended restrictions to organ donation with the loss of a number of organs to transplantation. There was no case where organ donation altered the outcome of criminal proceedings or significantly impacted cause of death findings.ConclusionsOrgan donation, where permitted, had limited impact on autopsy evidence and any subsequent court proceedings. Where organ donation was not permitted, autopsy evidence did not significantly alter coronial findings or judicial outcomes.
       
  • The Indian Dental Litigation Landscape: an Analysis of Judgments on Dental
           Negligence Claims in Indian Consumer Redressal Forums
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Rooban Thavarajah, Vijaykumar Saranya, Bhavanishankar PriyaABSTRACTIntroductionDental malpractice/negligence litigations against dentists in India is not widely studied. The aim of this study is to report the Indian dentist related litigation landscape in consumer redressal forum (CRF) and to understand more of the nature of the same.Material and method111 cases of judgments of dental malpractice in Indian CRF were collected. Useful information was extracted, reported in a grid and statistically analyzed. Data was compared by claim, specialty, treatment offered, days lapsed and compensation awarded. P≤0.05 was taken as statistically significant.ResultsIn all, 44 (39.63%) dentists were found guilty. Thirty dentists had produced at least one evidence in their favor. Among them, 23 outcomes were in dentist’s favor.(P=0.02) The mean wait for final judgment was 1945±1286(193-6762) days. The mean compensation claimed was INR 577287±905898. Presence of evidence (dentists/patients) had an impact on the days to reach a judgment as well as compensation.ConclusionIndian dental litigation landscape CRF has been described for the first time. We identified that CRF litigation of dental malpractice are few, as compared to procedures performed in India. Oral surgical procedures were often involved and 40% of instances, dentists were guilty and mean compensation awarded was INR 103998±158976.
       
  • Dental evaluation specificity in orofacial damage assessment: a serial
           case study.
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Cristina Figueiredo, Joana Coelho, Diana Pedrosa, Catarina Caetano, Francisco Corte-Real, Duarte Nuno Vieira, Ana Corte-Real IntroductionThe evaluation of medico-legal post-traumatic events has been increasing over the last decades. This study analysed the input of dental evaluation in orofacial damage assessment, highlighting the individual's biopsychosocial model, by a serial case study. It is aimed to analyse the physical as well as the psychological repercussions of traumatic events. It also aimed to relate the type of trauma impact with the individual’s sequelae.Material and MethodAn observational and retrospective study was carried out of Portuguese medico-legal database. A serial case study was distinguished by the direction of the impact: frontal striking, lateral striking and clashing with a bidirectional (frontal-lateral).Resultsand Discussion: 7 cases fulfilled the inclusion criteria, as a pilot study. They have in common the involvement of the 2 lower thirds of the face, including the temporomandibular joint. The consolidation of the maxillary bone fractures does not always correspond to restituto ad integrum.ConclusionThe impact direction may guide clinical examination in detecting permanent impairment, emphasizing temporomandibular joint disorders, as well as their association with psychosocial repercussions. The medical-dental examination is differentiating and relevant to the accomplishment of the general objective of damage assessment.
       
  • The visibilities and invisibilities of race entangled with forensic DNA
           phenotyping technology
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Filipa Queirós Forensic DNA phenotyping (FDP) technology represents a set of techniques that aim to predict physical features of criminal suspects, such as eye, skin and hair colour, and also ethnicity through the inference of biogeographic ancestry from their biological samples. In contrast to other forensic technologies, FDP is not used for identification purposes but valued for its potential intelligence value. Since features predicted by FDP relate to common traits shared by different population groups, critical voices highlight that this technology may (re)create dynamics of collectivisation of suspect populations.Looking at the criminal justice system, this paper aims to explore the diverse understandings of FDP by professionals working in forensic laboratories and by the members of police forces, alongside the automatic exchange of genetic profiles to fight cross-border crime. Their perceptions are explored according to the perceived potential investigative value and potential threats of FDP. Furthermore, we discuss how racial issues are implicitly and explicitly present in these narratives. Results show that FDP may be ushering in a new assemblage of racial issues along three entangled dimensions: the differentiating power of externally visible characteristics, the comparison between genetic and eyewitness testimonies, and the collectivisation of suspicion.
       
  • The microbiology, pH, and oxidation reduction potential of larval masses
           in decomposing carcasses on Oahu, Hawaii
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Emily N. Junkins, Mark Speck, David O. Carter Previous studies have begun to characterize the microbial community dynamics of the skin, soil, gut, and oral cavities of decomposing remains. One area that has yet to be explored in great detail is the microbiome of the fly larval mass, the community of immature flies that plays a significant role in decomposition. The current study aimed to characterize the microbiology and chemistry of larval masses established on pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) carcasses and to determine if these characteristics have potential as temporal evidence. Carcasses (n = 3) were decomposed on the soil surface of a tropical habitat on Oahu, Hawaii, USA and sampled over three days at 74 h, 80 h, 98 h, 104 h, 122 h, and 128 h (∼85–142 Accumulated Degree Days) postmortem. Larval masses were analyzed via high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing and in situ chemical measurements (pH, temperature, oxidation-reduction potential). A trend was observed that resulted in three distinct microbial communities (pre-98 h, 98 h, and post-98 h). The oxidation-reduction potential (Eh) of larval masses apparently regulated microbial community structure with the most negative Eh being associated with the least rich and diverse microbial communities. Overall, a significant interaction between time and taxa was observed, particularly with bacterial phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The current results provide new insight into the microbial community and chemical parameters of larval masses and indicate a temporal shift that could be further studied as a PMI estimator.
       
  • Forensic evidence in atrocity trials: A risky sampling strategy'
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Caroline Fournet In the light of the recent judgments issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), including two acquittals and one very recent condemnation of the accused on all charges, analyzing and assessing evidentiary practice before the Court is all the more pressing. This article focuses on one particular type of evidence used by the Prosecution, namely, forensic evidence, to critically review how it has been used so far at the ICC and consider whether the prosecutorial strategy of focusing on a certain sample of crimes is finally paying off.
       
  • Forensic entomotoxicology: Current concepts, trends and challenges
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 August 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Rito Chophi, Spriha Sharma, Sahil Sharma, Rajinder Singh The application of forensic entomotoxicology in investigations of death by poisoning has gained popularity as insects serves as an alternative specimen (evidence) when conventional toxicological samples have degraded or are no longer available. Successful detection, identification, and quantification of drugs and toxic substances from insects have been demonstrated through various research experiments. In the present review paper, role of insects as toxicological sample, its collection and preservation, analysis using various instrumental techniques, and trends in the use of analytical techniques have been discussed. Limitations hindering the growth of this field and the way forward for future studies have been highlighted. In addition, the effect of poisons on insects used for postmortem interval estimation has been described.
       
  • Predictors of mortality in cases of thermal burns admitted to Burn Unit,
           Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 67Author(s): Sawsan A. Shalaby, Yasser Fouad, Sonya M.S. Azab, Dalia M. Nabil, Yasser A. Abd El-Aziz In cases of death due to burn injury, it may be of great medico-legal importance to determine if the death is caused by fatal burn injury or due to other factors related to treatment. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate early predictors of mortality in patients with thermal burns admitted to Burn Unit, Ain Shams University Hospitals during a period of one year (2011).The study included 152 cases, mortalities represented 20.4% of the included cases (31 cases). Binary logistic regression analysis showed that, total body surface area (TBSA) of the burns and APACHE III score were significant predictors of mortality. This model resulted in accurate classification of 95.9% of the cases.Further multi-centric studies on larger sample sizes are recommended to validate the results of this study. Also, it is important to study the effect of co-morbidities as confounding factors on the prediction of mortality in patients with thermal burns.
       
  • Identification of victims from mass grave discovery near Benghazi, Libya
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 July 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): S. Sherein Ghaleb, Dalia Abd Elwahab Hassan, Fadwa A. Elroby, Khaled R. Mogassabi, Amin AttiaAlemam BackgroundA mass grave is any site that containing two or more associated corpses, at random or on purpose placed, of people who have died as a result of extra-judicial or random executions, not including those people who have died from armed confrontations or known major catastrophes.Case presentationThe purpose of this paper is to explain how to reconstruct a biological profile of decomposed or skeletonized bodies and clarify the efforts done by the Libyan scientist after 2011 revolution and to set a reference for other researcher. The alleged location of the grave, as well as the alleged number and identities of the persons buried in the grave were obtained exclusively from witnesses’ and relatives’ testimonies.ConclusionAs the testimonies said, the grave was located at the alleged location and seven skeletons were exhumed. Also, the osteological and DNA study made investigators to identify the exhumed skeletons. And the dental analysis support the identification of a seven man alleged to have been buried in the grave, 7 victims were discovered.
       
  • Evidence of multiple methods of torture
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 67Author(s): Samadhi Dandeniya Arachchi, Rohan Ruwanpura Torture, which violates human rights, is still being practiced worldwide despite of all the bound rules and regulations. Although “beating” is the commonest method applied, other physical, psychological and sexual methods are often being practiced. 1975 Tokyo declaration defines torture and the doctor's role in managing torture. Injury identification and accurate dating are major challenges faced by medical professionals in dealing with cases of torture. Inadequacy of the history and late presentation are another major issues that often interfere with proper medico-legal management.It would be wise for the professional who is involved in management of torture cases to be thorough of ‘Istanbul protocol’ which contain the first set of internationally recognized standards for effective examination of torture victim. This case report discusses some of the entities such as beating, water torture, mock execution and other psychological methods, and rear occurrence of hanging with near death experience.
       
  • Experimental impacts of less lethal rubber spheres on a skin-fat-muscle
           model
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Volume 67Author(s): Manman Xiong, Bin Qin, Shu Wang, Ruiguo Han, Liwei Zang IntroductionEffectiveness and safety assessment for kinetic energy (KE) bullets is of importance, considering numerous reports about excessive damage cases of KE bullets in recent years. Early study of KE impacting targets mainly focused on threshold penetration issue, but did not involve cavity evolution of target and energy transfer. The paper aimed at analyzing cavity evolution and energy transfer during rubber bullet impacting skin-fat-muscle model.MethodIn the ballistic experiment, skin-fat-muscle model was built including cowhide, paraffin gel and gelatin, respectively simulating skin, fat and muscle. 16 mm spherical rubber bullets were fired at a range of velocities (71 m/s-134 m/s) to skin-fat-muscle model. There were totally 7 valid impacts. Cavity evolution and cowhide deformation were captured by a high-speed camera.Result and discussionExperiment result indicates that cavity shape evolution can be divided into 3 stages: parabola stage, arc stage, and bowl stage. The cavity shape evolution at different velocities follows a similar changing rule. Cavity depth firstly increases and then decreases with time. Cavity width gradually increases with time and the rate at which the cavity width grows decreases with time. The maximum cavity depth and cavity width at the same moment increase linearly with impacting velocity. When bullet impacts on the model, deformation occurs on the cowhide, paraffin gel and gelatin. Kinetic energy of bullet gradually transfers into kinetic energy of cowhide, strain energy of cowhide, absorbing energy of soft tissue (paraffin gel and gelatin). Energy transfer analysis result of 134 m/s demonstrates rubber bullet kinetic energy mainly transfers into cowhide strain energy and absorbing energy of paraffin gel and gelatin. Moreover, cowhide strain energy firstly increases and then decreases with time.
       
  • Better clinical and post mortem photography: A crash course in ten
           technical tips
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 July 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): David Sadler For forensic clinicians and pathologists, photography of bodily regions, injuries and skin lesions present a number of technical challenges including proper framing, avoidance of distortion, choice of background and inclusion of a properly orientated scale. Photography of internal organs at autopsy presents further difficulties with regard to correct exposure, light reflections and limited depth of field. Situations commonly arise in clinical forensic and autopsy practice which require photographic documentation but which may not warrant calling upon the clinical photographer or police Scenes of Crime Officer. This article provides a brief explanation of various technical considerations which will allow forensic practitioners and technicians to take their own high quality external and internal photographs. Technical aspects discussed include aperture, shutter speed, ISO, depth of field, camera shake, and use of flash, scales, focal planes and backgrounds. The possible pitfalls encountered in several common photographic situations are illustrated and discussed, together with suggested workarounds and camera settings. Whilst the photographic examples presented here mostly relate to autopsy practice, the general principles and technical discussion also apply to wider clinical forensic photography practice.
       
  • Mutation rates in father-son pairs of the 27 Y-STR loci in the Dezhou Han
           population from Shandong province, eastern China
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Jiashuo Zhang, Jingyi Zhang, Ruiyang Tao, Hui Hu, Longfei Miao, Lu Qiao, Xuewei Xu, Suhua Zhang, Chengtao Li
       
  • The CSI Effect(s no one')
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 June 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): David Errickson, Stephanie Giles, Graeme Horsman
       
  • Estimation of stature from radiographically determined lower limb bone
           length in modern Chinese
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Kui Zhang, Meng-jun Zhan, Jing-hui Cui, Ying-zhen Luo, Li-rong Qiu, Li-ping Deng, Zhen-lin Li, Xiao-gang Chen, Zhen-hua Deng To develop population - specific stature prediction equations from measurements of the lower limb bone in a contemporary Chinese. 303 individuals of Han group in Western China, including 201 females and 102 males were collected. The study sample was randomly divided into two subgroups. A calibration sample, which consisted of 171 females and 87 males, was used to develop the regression formula. A validation sample comprising the remaining 30 female and 15 male individuals was then used to test the predictive accuracy of the established formula. The regression equations were developed from intact bones and fragments of the femur, tibia and fibula, the maximum lengths of femur, tibia, and fibula were highly correlated with the stature. The maximum length of femur provide the most accurate result with the prediction accuracy of 3.84 cm for unknown sex, 4.00 cm in the male group, 3.45 cm in the female group, 3.61 cm in the group with age no more than 45, 3.45 cm in the group with age above 45. Moreover, the multiple regression equations were developed, and they portray a more accurate stature in instances in which the femur, tibia and fibula are available. This paper provides indications that the femur, tibia and fibula are important bones for stature estimation and they could be effectively used in forensic cases.
       
  • Three groups of suspects in police reported rape cases: First-time
           suspects, recidivists and unidentified suspects. A comparative study
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 February 2019Source: Journal of Forensic and Legal MedicineAuthor(s): Bjarte Frode Vik, Kirsten Rasmussen, Berit Schei, Cecilie Therese Hagemann BackgroundPrevious studies show that reported suspects in adult rape cases often have a criminal record, and that many are rape recidivists. Annual numbers of police reported rapes have dramatically increased but the proportion of rapes being prosecuted and numbers of convictions are low. To increase knowledge about the suspects in cases of police reported rapes; whether they have committed the crime before or not may inform preventive measures.AimsTo compare suspect, victim, and assault related characteristics among different groups of police-reported rape suspects (first-time suspects, recidivist suspects and unidentified suspects).MethodsRetrospective, descriptive study of suspects in cases of rape or attempted rape reported by women ≥16 years of age in the Sør-Trøndelag police district, Norway, from 2003 to 2010.ResultsAmong the 356 suspects included, 207 (58%) were first-time suspects, 75 (21%) were recidivists and 74 (21%) were unidentified. Being a first-time suspect was significantly associated with victim being
       
 
 
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