assignment 2.docx

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Forensic Science
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Hisham Ragab

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Name: Tiffany Ip Student number: 1000204726 Question 1 a) The purpose of a case report is summarizing the substantive evidence in a criminal case and presenting information in a readable and easy-to-follow format (Staib 2012). A case report provides useful information to people, which the information could help them to solve the difficulties when people are getting involved in similar circumstances. Also, a case report delivers information for teaching purpose. b) The case reports should continue to be published. The case reports would bring new information to the forensic science field that the peer colleagues or people in the other related fields may not be aware of that before. Also, the case reports include information, such as the cause, manner and mechanism of death in specific cases, which could be the reference of the other forensic scientists while they are studying their own cases. c) Students, including me, can benefit from reading case reports by getting valuable information either personally or academically. The case reports sometimes bring unusual information from the real incidents, which the students may never be met with. For example, the Harding and Wolf (2006) article demonstrates that the majority of alligator attacks occur in Florida; although most alligator attacks occur in water, alligators have been known to attack humans on land, most alligators that attack are seeking food, some having lost their fear of humans by previous feedings. By reading Harding and Wolf (2006) article, we would know that it is dangerous to feed analligators while we are visiting in Florida. The alligators are not same as the animals that we see in the zoo. The alligators are not well-trained. Also, we should not feed animals at random or else we may get into danger easily. 1 Name: Tiffany Ip Student number: 1000204726 Question 2 a) The purpose of Harding and Wolf (2006) article is illustrating three cases of fatal alligator attacks that happened in southwest Florida, each with different pathologic findings and mechanisms of death. The Harding and Wolf (2006) article demonstrates pathological findings, which are associated with deaths due to alligator attacks on humans, and features of distinguishing alligator bites from other traumatic injuries in the water, propellers of boats, or bites of other aquatic predators, such as shark, barracudas, and the American crocodile. b) Harding and Wolf (2006) chose to publish that specific case report because the pathologic findings and pathophysiology of death in such cases have not been well characterized in the literature due to the relative rarity of fatal alligator attacks on humans. Harding and Wolf (2006) undertook the current study to detail the anatomic findings and the causes, manners and mechanisms of death that are related with fatal alligator attacks. c) The second sentence of the abstract reads: “Although attacks on pets are frequent, alligator attacks on humans are relatively rare because of the animal’s natural fear of man” (Harding & Wolf (2006: 674) strengthen the author’s purpose for publishing this report due to the infrequency of alligator attacks on humans, the pathologic findings in cases of such attacks have not been well characterized. Consequently, there is a need to have more pathological findings of deaths attributed to alligator attacks on humans. This would help the other forensic scientists to make better interpretations of the type and pattern of injuries, and also the case, manner and mechanism of death when they are 2 Name: Tiffany Ip Student number: 1000204726 dealing with similar cases in the future. d) Harding and Wolf (2006) provide three separate cases instead of just one because the three cases differentiate the causes and mechanisms by which alligator attacks can result in death. In Harding and Wolf (2006) article, the first case demonstrates the alligator’s typical mechanism of grabbing large prey by an extremity, leading to amputation and crushing injuries to soft tissue and bones, and the cause of death is drowning that based on the presence of pulmonary edema, with numerous sharp force injuries as a contributing factor; the second case includes the traumatic amputation of an extremity, with death arising from exsanguination; the third case shows the overwhelming sepsis that is resulted from reptile bites. By reading three separate cases in the same article, readers could have a more comprehensive understanding of the pathological findings, which are related with fatal alligator attacks on humans. Also, readers could compare the three cases and learn how to distinguish the causes, manners and mechanisms of death that are associated with alligator attacks. Question 3 a) The purpose of Byard and colleagues (2010) article is illustrating features that may be typical of murder–suicide cases and other features that may indicate a different scenario. The Byard and colleagues (2010) article correspondingly demonstrates the features of a murder-suicide case and a murder-accident case. Also, the Byard and colleagues (2010) article shows that there may be a third party involved in the case, which indicates the possibility of double murder. 3 Name: Tiffany Ip Student number: 1000204726 b) Byard and colleagues (2010) provide two separate cases instead of just one in the article because two cases are reported to demonstrate characteristic features in one, and alternative features in the other that indicate the differences in the manner of death. In Byard and colleagues (2010) article, the first case mentions that a 37-year-old mother is found dead in a burnt out house with her two young sons in an adjacent bedroom, deaths are due to incineration and inhalation of products of combustion; the second case mentions that a 39-year-old woman is found stabbed to death in a burnt out house with her 39-year-old de facto partner is deceased from the combined effects of incineration and inhalation of products of combustion. The first case represents a typical murder– suicide, but in the second case, the perpetrator has tried to escape through a window and then seek refuge in a bathroom under a running shower. Therefore, murder-accident rather than murder-suicide would be a more accurate designation for the second case. By reading two separate cases in the same article, readers could know that the reconstruction of crime scene is relatively important while determining the manner of death in cases. Also, readers could compare the difference between features of the two cases and learn how to distinguish between a murder-accident case and a murder-suicide case. c) The inclusion of the two different cases in Byard and colleagues (2010) article supports the authors’ argument since the authors’ argument is highlighting the importance of proper interpretation and reconstruction of the crime scene, which fire may be used to conceal the truth of the case. In Byard and colleagues (2010) article, the death of the perpetrator in the first case is clearly shown that
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