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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
October-December 2019
Volume 5 | Issue 4
Page Nos. 173-216

Online since Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  

Sexual dimorphism in right and left orbital fossa measurements from adult human skulls from an eastern Indian population p. 173
Ritwik Ghosh, Soumeek Chowdhuri, Somnath Maity
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_37_19  
In forensic anthropology, the pelvis is the most reliable indicator of sex, followed by the skull, with several studies having used the morphometry of the orbital aperture of dry skulls to estimate sex. However, age, sex, ancestry, and evolutionary periods cause variations in orbital characteristics. In this study, we analyzed measurements of orbital fossa from adult human craniums and employed discriminant function analysis to establish a model to predict sex. A manual Vernier caliper was used to obtain measurements of the left and right orbital fossa. On comparing the measurements (including mean, minimum, and maximum), we found that all the dimensions were greater in males than in females. Wilks' lambda for the sex-discriminating model was 0.533, signifying a moderate discriminating power. The discriminant function equation was: df = −10.274 × right orbit width + 13.44 × left orbit width − 7.982 × right orbit height + 7.694 × left orbit height − 12.234 (constant). The cutoff point was (90.567− [−1.512])/2 = 1.0395. Therefore, above this value of 1.0395, cases were predicted to be male, while below it, they were predicted to be female. Orbital aperture measurements can play an important role in estimating sex from dry craniums. Orbital measurements could be a useful adjunctive test for sex estimation in forensic practice.
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A novel approach to estimate age and sex from mri measurement of liver dimensions in an Indian (Bengali) Population – A pilot study p. 177
Saikat Das, Ritwik Ghosh, Soumeek Chowdhuri
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_45_19  
Radiological methods have been used to assess the ossification stages of bones to estimate age and sex, but studies using the growth stages of organs such as the liver for identification purposes have not yet been performed. Liver weight increases with age, reaching a maximum between 41 and 50 years in men and between 51 and 60 years in women. Thereafter, above the age of 50 years, the liver weight decreases again, and the differences in liver weight between men and women are lost. For this reason, we have conducted this study in a population aged between 10 and 40 years. In this study, we attempted to find correlations between liver dimensions (from magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] images) and age and sex in an eastern Indian (Bengali) population. MRI images showing the liver were acquired from people aged between 10 and 40 years visiting the MRI Centre of Calcutta National Medical College. Liver MRI was acquired from 104 people. Chi-square tests showed a significant correlation between age and the mid hepatic point anteroposterior (MHP AP) dimension. However, there was no such significant correlation between age and maximum craniocaudal (Max CC) dimension or between age and maximum transverse dimension. The following discriminant function equation was derived (Df) = 0.04 MHP AP + 0.006 Max CC + 0.031 Max transverse −11.873 (Constant). Using this formula, 60.6% of the original grouped cases from the Eastern Indian Bengali population would be correctly classified. From the forensic point of view, the dimensions of the liver may be of the value of corroborating age and sex in doubtful cases in living individuals, aged between 10 and 40 years.
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Handwriting expertise reliability: A review p. 181
Bing Li, Nian Li
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_44_19  
Handwriting expertise, as a form of forensic evidence, was once considered by most courts under the Anglo-American law system to be infallible, but this position was significantly challenged by the Daubert case (1993) and further by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report published in 2016. In China, handwriting expertise has often been accepted as forensic evidence. However, this does not mean that there is no need to review the reliability of handwriting expertise. In this study, we analyze the current situation in China regarding the reliability of handwriting identification using cases from China's judicial judgment database. We intend to identify the reasons for rejection of handwriting expertise, analyze the outcomes of applications for re-examination, and examine the court's evaluation of different forensic opinions in relation to a given case. We also propose ways to strengthen the reliability of handwriting identification in China.
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REVIEW ARTICLES Top

Collection and judgment of electronic data evidence in criminal cases: From the perspective of investigation and evidence collection by public security organs p. 187
Bo Wang, Yuxian Liu
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_26_19  
With the continuous progress of science and technology, the Internet has gradually entered every field of daily life. In addition to the information generated by the Internet in the form of digitization, it has become the main media for people to store information. In the field of criminal offenses, the network is likely to be used to perpetrate criminal schemes, implement crimes, or help hinder investigations afterward. These acts will leave an electronic data trail, such as WeChat information, emails, or blogs. After a crime occurs, an evidence investigator should accurately, timely, and comprehensively obtain all electronic data related to the case by collecting, extracting, and transferring this data according to the law, and examining the authenticity, legality, and relevance of the evidence. Through a comprehensive review, the investigator should clarify the relationship between the electronic data and the facts to be proved and make full use of the obtained electronic evidence in criminal proceedings.
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Exploratory analysis on dictated handwriting samples p. 195
Xuelin Gao, Yanling Wang
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_33_19  
Dictated handwriting samples are widely used in practice due to their simplicity, convenience, and practicality. However, dictation is typically listed as one of the many collection methods in textbooks and monographs, and there is usually no separate section focusing on dictated handwriting samples. Therefore, further study of dictated handwriting samples will have important practical significance. Consideration of the definition, existing problems, collection techniques, and critical aspects of dictated handwriting samples will support investigators and document examiners in their professional abilities and contribute to the theoretical system of document examination. In this article, an exploratory analysis will be conducted and ideas about dictated handwriting samples will be shared, including the definition of dictated samples, their relationship to experimental samples, practical problems, feasible collection methods, and some critical points that require special attention. Dictation is widely used but problematic because of a lack of quantity and low levels of comparability. Those difficulties are mainly caused by a lack of theoretical study and understanding of the requirements and collection techniques of dictated handwriting samples among first-line investigators. Dictated samples should be collected based on subjective and objective conditions of formation with aims to improve comparability and five similarities. Further studies are needed to improve the theoretical system and practical use of dictated samples so that they can contribute to successfully reaching conclusions in investigations.
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Confrontation and integration: The present and future of forensic examinations on medical damage in China p. 204
Xu Wang, He Yuan
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_39_19  
In China, two administrative regulations and judicial interpretations related to forensic examinations of medical damage were issued from March 2017 to June 2018. In chronological order, they were interpretation of the supreme people's court on several questions concerning the application of law in the trial of disputes over liability for medical damage and regulations on the prevention and handling of medical disputes. Those two laws, especially the regulation, have had a fundamental impact on the pattern of forensic examinations on medical damage. This paper systematically reviews the current status and existing problems with forensic examinations on medical damage following implementation of the law of tort liability; it discusses new concepts of procedures, institutional arrangements, and the selection of examiners for forensic examinations on medical damage. We believe that through the regulation, the dualistic confrontation status of forensic examinations on medical damage will gradually change toward integration. We consider that forensic examinations of medical damage will face three challenges in the future: (1) enhancing the establishment of standards; (2) undertaking theoretical research into forensic examinations on medical damage; and (3) promoting the development of interdisciplinary identification specialists majoring in both medicine and law. Only in this way will it be possible to rectify the current dilemma with forensic examinations on medical damage in China.
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Reformation of the judicial appraisal adoption system used by party institutions entrusted by the investigation agency in criminal proceedings p. 208
Yang Lian, Mengshang Wu, Yuanyuan Lian
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_47_19  
The new requirements of trial-centered litigation in China are a concrete manifestation of the reform of the rule of law under Xi Jinping's new socialist era. The effective implementation of judicial appraisal lays a solid foundation for the correct identification of facts, accurate conviction, and sentencing, and technically, it should guarantee a fair trial. However, in practice, judicial appraisal opinion carries the risk of a diminished trial that deviates from the trial-centered requirement to substantiate a charge and can easily lead to unjust cases. This paper seeks to discuss the system of identification of property loss involved in criminal proceedings, which is implemented by a third-party appraisal institution entrusted by the investigation agency, and highlights the fact that the third-party appraisal institutions in judicial practice are currently reliant on cooperative thinking, but countenance the lack of a mechanism for effective accountability, and the court's propensity for their support. This leads to the verification components of the trial being depreciated, which may lessen the validity of the appraisal opinion (substantiation). In response to this problem, the author hopes to provide some suggestions to assist third-party appraisal agencies in the completion of judicial appraisal and achievement of their trial-centered reform goal by rationalizing the relationship between the investigation agency and identification institution, establishing a hierarchical accountability mechanism, and improving the rules governing testimony in court.
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CASE REPORT Top

An autopsy case of suspected anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis p. 213
Kino Hayashi, Wakako Hikiji, Yohsuke Makino, Hisaomi Suzuki
DOI:10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_59_18  
N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is a rare type of autoimmune limbic encephalitis. Herein, we report an autopsy case of highly suspected anti-NMDAR encephalitis, based on the patient's past psychiatric history and autopsy findings of bilateral hippocampal sclerosis and ovarian teratoma. We found that it can be difficult to accurately diagnose autoimmune encephalitis at postmortem forensic autopsy without a case history and background information.
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