Your Name Your Professor's Name Name/Code of Course Date Forensic Anthropology: Focus on Hair & Fiber Analysis in Homicide Forensic science provides scientific and technical information to assist judges, juries, prosecutors, defense attorneys, investigations and intelligence analysts (Houck & Siegel ix)…
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“Anthropology is the study of humans, their culture and their biology. Anthropology can be divided into the study of human biology and human culture” (Houck & Siegel 183). This includes the study of the past and present elements and features of a given social classification of people. Forensic anthropology therefore seeks to merge the concept of anthropology with forensic sciences which provides evidence based on the unique features of a given perpetrator of a murder. This means that forensic anthropology makes the use of social grouping and classification to match the features of a given suspect to provide the broad classification of the possible perpetrator of a given crime. Aside being used in courts, forensic anthropology may be of use in the investigation of human rights abuses like genocides and the examination of mass graves to attain further details of crimes (Haviland et al 10). Details of skeletal anatomy can help establish various social classifications of victims like age, sex, population affiliation and stature of deceased (Haviland et al 10). The differences between people can be attributed to several factors and situations. This is the main essence of anthropology. It seeks to study our differences based on our unique features and skeletal structures. Forensic anthropology therefore try to apply our differences based on dominant findings in relation to “... human evolution, paleopathology (study of bone diseases in antiquity), physiology and morpoplogical adaptatiosn to various environmental conditions and osteology (study of bone structures” (Brickley & Ferllini 5). These differences ultimately lays the foundation for the identification of differences amongst people. This provides the basis for the classification of victims and their murderers. This can therefore become the basis for the identification of these people in a competent court of judicature and the ultimate conviction of such perpetrators. However, the use of forensic anthropology in a court of law can come with difficulties. This is because there is the need for some standards to be observed in the usage of external evidence in a trial which can determine the future of a suspect. It is therefore necessary for some safeguards to be erected to prevent the misuse of anthropology in court cases and the broad generalizations of situations that could potentially cause the miscarriage of justice. This paper examines the use of hair and fiber analysis, a sub-unit of forensic anthropology as evidence in court. It examines the components of hair and fiber analysis in homicide cases and its appropriateness as evidence in court. It looks at the various cases where it has been used and its limitations in court cases. In arriving at this end, two major landmark cases will be examined: the OJ Simpson Trial (1994) and the Daubert Case (1993). Hair & Fiber Analysis in Homicide “Hair and fiber analysis are important to examine a victim and events that took place at the place of murder through to the place of dumping the body” (Houck 123). This implies that hair and fiber analysis can provide important components of a murderer in a case that can enable the identification of such a criminal to come much easier. Hair and fiber analysis provide a way through which the hair of the perpetrators of a murder which fell off at the scene of the crime
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