Forensic pathology and the miscarriage of justice.
Summary of "Forensic pathology and the miscarriage of justice."
A case of conviction for rape-murder that was eventually overturned based on a post-conviction re-evaluation of the findings at autopsy is described. The main issue elucidated on post-conviction review was that postmortem anal dilation and postmortem hypostatic hemorrhages of the neck were misinterpreted as injuries. After review of the autopsy findings, the prosecution agreed with the appellant that a miscarriage of justice had occurred and the conviction was quashed by an appellate court. This case underscores the need for an awareness of key pitfalls that can be encountered at autopsy, such as the proper interpretation of postmortem artefacts. The evolving role of the evidence-based framework for forensic pathology is explored as a systemic solution to enhance the administration of justice.
Centre for Forensic Science and Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, Michael.Pollanen@ontario.ca.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Forensic science, medicine, and pathology
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22116733
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12024-011-9299-5
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
The application of pathology to questions of law.
Disciplines that apply sciences to law. Forensic sciences include a wide range of disciplines, such as FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY; FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY; FORENSIC MEDICINE; FORENSIC DENTISTRY; and others.
The application of NURSING knowledge to questions of law. It is a specialty of nursing practice involving victims of crime which includes not only attending to the physical and emotional distress of victims, but also the identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence for law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
Scientific study of human skeletal remains with the express purpose of identification. This includes establishing individual identity, trauma analysis, facial reconstruction, photographic superimposition, determination of time interval since death, and crime-scene recovery. Forensic anthropologists do not certify cause of death but provide data to assist in determination of probable cause. This is a branch of the field of physical anthropology and qualified individuals are certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. (From Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1992 Jun;13(2):146)
A field of anatomical pathology in which living tissue is surgically removed for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment.
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