The role of forensic science can be defined as providing relevant opinions to assist investigators and courts of law in answering questions. The Likelihood Ratio (LR) provides a quantitative and logical approach to communicating the strength of expert evidence. We reviewed existing forensic literature on sharp force fatalities, focusing on studies reporting the manner of death and the frequency of some characteristics that are traditionally assessed. Four studies were included, resulting in a database of 173 suicides and 354 homicides. The LR of each of the characteristic under both hypotheses (suicide and homicide) was obtained. Subsequently, the LR was computed in six fatalities with known manner of death, three suicides and three homicides, by multiplying the corresponding LR of each individual characteristic. LR ranged from 115 to 140,250 in suicidal cases and from 9 to 2728 in homicidal cases. Compared to other fields of forensic science where LR is used extensively, the values obtained in our cases of sharp force fatalities is low. However, in forensic pathology there is evidence that is outside the expert's opinion, and it is for the trier of fact, such as the judge or jury, to draw conclusions. Nevertheless, the LR serves as a tool for interpreting and weighing evidence while maintaining the distinct roles of the trier of fact and the expert. To comprehensively apply the LR in the field of sharp force deaths, it will be necessary to standardize the methodology of investigation and data collection in descriptive studies.

Homicide or suicide? A probabilistic approach for the evaluation of the manner of death in sharp force fatalities / Irmici M.; D'Aleo M.; Pelletti G.; Pirani F.; Giorgetti A.; Fais P.; Pelotti S.. - In: JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES. - ISSN 0022-1198. - ELETTRONICO. - 69:1(2024), pp. 205-212. [10.1111/1556-4029.15413]

Homicide or suicide? A probabilistic approach for the evaluation of the manner of death in sharp force fatalities

Irmici M.
Primo
;
D'Aleo M.;Pelletti G.
;
Pirani F.;Giorgetti A.;Fais P.;Pelotti S.
Ultimo
2024

Abstract

The role of forensic science can be defined as providing relevant opinions to assist investigators and courts of law in answering questions. The Likelihood Ratio (LR) provides a quantitative and logical approach to communicating the strength of expert evidence. We reviewed existing forensic literature on sharp force fatalities, focusing on studies reporting the manner of death and the frequency of some characteristics that are traditionally assessed. Four studies were included, resulting in a database of 173 suicides and 354 homicides. The LR of each of the characteristic under both hypotheses (suicide and homicide) was obtained. Subsequently, the LR was computed in six fatalities with known manner of death, three suicides and three homicides, by multiplying the corresponding LR of each individual characteristic. LR ranged from 115 to 140,250 in suicidal cases and from 9 to 2728 in homicidal cases. Compared to other fields of forensic science where LR is used extensively, the values obtained in our cases of sharp force fatalities is low. However, in forensic pathology there is evidence that is outside the expert's opinion, and it is for the trier of fact, such as the judge or jury, to draw conclusions. Nevertheless, the LR serves as a tool for interpreting and weighing evidence while maintaining the distinct roles of the trier of fact and the expert. To comprehensively apply the LR in the field of sharp force deaths, it will be necessary to standardize the methodology of investigation and data collection in descriptive studies.
2024
Homicide or suicide? A probabilistic approach for the evaluation of the manner of death in sharp force fatalities / Irmici M.; D'Aleo M.; Pelletti G.; Pirani F.; Giorgetti A.; Fais P.; Pelotti S.. - In: JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES. - ISSN 0022-1198. - ELETTRONICO. - 69:1(2024), pp. 205-212. [10.1111/1556-4029.15413]
Irmici M.; D'Aleo M.; Pelletti G.; Pirani F.; Giorgetti A.; Fais P.; Pelotti S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/955014
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