In the Active Learning threaded discussion area, respond to the stated questions, including any relevance to and implications on the field of criminal justice. Be sure to discuss the issue(s) to which the question pertains. Remarks can include your opinion(s), but must be based on experience, research, and/or prior learning. Use this exercise to foster a rich dialogue with your colleagues about issues that are important to the field of criminal justice. Your initial posting must be no less than 200 words each question. Apa format and citations after each question.
- After reviewing the United States Constitution, what aspect of the document do you consider as directly having impact upon the activities of the contemporary death investigator? Do you see the Constitution as placing limitations upon the death investigator? Does it provide guidelines for fairness and integrity relative to the investigator’s official actions?
Consider your response in light of the core value of integrity. In general, how do you see this core value playing an important role in the issues raised by the discussion question?
- What is referred to by the terminology “sudden and unexpected death”? Give an example of a situation that you would classify, as a death investigator, as “sudden and unexpected”? According to your text, prior to autopsy, “A good medical examiner first considers the medical history, social history, and the terminal circumstances and then forms hypotheses.” What is meant by this statement? Why should “social history” be a consideration to a medical examiner?
- According to the text, “Several studies have cited the unfortunate likelihood of misdiagnosed neonatal homicides and there are a number of factors that may be responsible for such underreporting.” Why is this? Doesn’t this seem an improbably in America in today’s world, given the progress of American society?
- What is blunt force trauma? Assuming that you are a death investigator, give an example of what you would think would be a commonly encountered blunt force trauma resulting in death. What would you look for on the deceased’s body to verify your suspicion of your given example of blunt force trauma?
- Describe the difference between the stab wound and the incised wound? What is the major defining aspect or characteristic of each category? In your opinion, are stab wounds and incise wounds easily distinguishable from each other?
- You are a death investigator who has been called to the scene of a shooting. There is a male subject, deceased, and laying on the floor with a .38 caliber revolver by his right hand. You examine the body and find one gunshot wound to the head, that you determine is a contact wound, and one gunshot wound to the right foot, that you determine is not a contact wound. You do, however, see some indications that it is not a long range wound and was most likely inflicted by the deceased himself. You are confident that this is a suicide. The police chief wants to know how you can tell that the head wound is a contact shot and the foot wound is not a contact shot? He wants you to explain what you looked for in determining your conclusion? Explain to the chief what you expect a contact wound with a large caliber handgun to look like; what characteristics would you expect to find in such a wound? If the foot shot was fired by the deceased, but was not a contact wound, what would you expect to find relative to the foot wound? The chief is anxious to hear what you have to say!
- You are a well-known death investigator. You are speaking before a group of police officers from small local departments in rural Colorado; officers that get very little experience investigating death scenes other than those precipitated by natural death as a result of illness or advanced age. However, one officer asked you a question during your closing “question and answer” period. She advises you that her agency has had several cases lately involving nursing home patients and high school students who have hung themselves; taking their own lives. However, the autopsy reports from the State Medical Examiner’s office listed each cause of death as “asphyxia.” The officer wants to know what asphyxia is, and why didn’t the cause of death come back as “hanging”? Was the autopsy report wrong using that term “asphyxia”? She also wants to know what to look for when arriving at a “hanging scene”; what common aspects of evidence should be present at hangings? The officer is eager to hear your response to her questions since you are an experienced and well-seasoned death investigator.
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