CRJ 320-The Center for Disease Control (CDC) identified

Question 1The Center for Disease Control (CDC) identified suicide as a common death investigation within the United States. In some instances, family members attempt to hide the fact that the person took their own life. Analyze the main reasons why persons would attempt to conceal such an event which could possibly lead them into receiving criminal charges themselves. Recommend at least one (1) action that the law enforcement could take in order to investigate such a suicide crime. 150 word min.Question 2The National Center on Elder Abuse indicates that seniors are the fastest-growing population in the United States. It is apparent that as this populace becomes more physically frail, they are seemingly a greater target for the unscrupulous to take advantage. Discuss the main reasons why abuse of seniors is recognized yet usually goes unreported. Next, suggest one (1) action that citizens or family members could take to reduce elder abuse. Provide a rationale to support your response. 150 word min.Criminal InvestigationCRJ320Death Investigations Topics•••••••••••• Classification of deathsElements of the crimeChallenges in investigationEquivocal deathSuicidePreliminary investigation of homicideThe homicide victimEstimating the time of deathThe medical examination or autopsyUnnatural causes of death/method usedWitnessesSuspects Topics, continued•••• The declining clearance rateCold casesDeath notificationStrategies for reducing homicide Classification of Deaths••••• NaturalAccidentalSuicideHomicideHomicide– Criminal– Noncriminal • Criminal– First, Second, Third • Premeditation and Intent Classification of Deaths, continued• Manslaughter– Voluntary– Involuntary • Noncriminal or nonfelonious homicide– Excusable homicide– Justifiable homicide Elements of the Crime• Death of another person – Prove death: generally easy– Cause of death: sometimes challenging• Premeditation– Planned • Heat of passion• Death during commission of other felony– Rape, robbery, arson– First degree murder • Death during commission of non-felonious crime– Third degree murder or– Voluntary manslaughter Elements of the Crime, continued• Intent v. Accident• Intent– First or second degree murder • Accident– Third degree murder or less Challenges in Investigation•••••• Cause of deathType of crimeIdentify victimTime of deathMedia and public demandsSuspect’s rights and society’s rights Equivocal Death•••••• MysteryPosing the bodyStaging the crime sceneVictimologySudden unexplained infant deathSudden in-custody death Suicide••••••• HomicideUnderlying psychological problemsVictimologyNote or videoSuicide by policeSuicide of police officersContributing factors– Killed in the line of duty– Family issues– PTSD • Use duty weapon to commit suicide Preliminary Investigation ofHomicide•••••• Missing person report or dead bodySeldom police findCause of deathWho causedSecure and document sceneCarefully move body– Physical evidence– White sheet Preliminary Investigation of Homicide,continued•••••• Identify victimTime of deathCause of deathMethod usedIdentify and apprehend suspectFact-finding capsule– Specificity– Element of surprise– Haste • Within thirty minutes• Witness information The Homicide Victim•••• Body tells a storyEvidence provides leadsVictim’s background yields cause of deathHomicide Victim Missing– Technology• Ground-penetrating radar• Magnetometers• Metal detectors and infrared thermography – Cadaver-search dogs The Homicide Victim, continued• Homicide Victim Identification Aids––––– Family members, relatives, friends or acquaintancesPersonal items on bodyDNA analysisDental recordsMissing person files • Experts help––––– Medical examinerForensic anthropologistForensic odontologistForensic osteologistForensic entomologist The Homicide Victim, continued• Over 4,000 unidentified human remains• 25% remain unsolved• NIJ National Missing and UnidentifiedPersons– Missing persons’ database– Unidentified decedents’ database Estimating the Time of Death• Postmortem interval (PMI)– Shorter the better– 30 minutes• Estimated of time of death– Police– Family • Body temperature• Rigor mortis– Limp– Face– 12 to 24 hours Estimating the Time of Death,continued• Postmortem lividity–––– Dark blue or purple discoloration30 minutes to 3 hours after deathMaximum lividity 10 to 12 hoursHelp determine if body moved • Victim’s eye appearance– Pupils dilate 7 hours– Cornea cloudy 12 hours • Stomach contents– When and what– Empty after 4 to 6 hours • Stage of decomposition– Stomach and abdomen swell– Mummification 1 year • Insects – stage of development Estimating the Time of Death,continued• Body found in water– Body placement– Rigor mortis– Victim’s eyes • Forensic biologists• Victim’s normal routine– Personal and professional– Incoming and outgoing telephone calls– Food expiration dates The Medical Examination orAutopsy• Autopsy– After preliminary investigation– Cause and method of death– Time of death– Drugs or alcohol• Deaths requiring autopsy–––– Violent deaths and sudden deathsDeaths under suspicious circumstancesInmate diesPublic health threatened • Exhume body Unnatural Causes of Death and MethodUsed••••• Gunshot woundsStabbing and cutting woundsAsphyxiation PoisoningGunshot wounds– Bullet hole location– No gun = probable homicide Unnatural Causes of Death and MethodUsed, continued• Stabbing and cutting wounds– Defense wounds– Hesitation wounds • Asphyxiation – Accidental: choking, drowning, or smothering– Suicide: hanging– Homicide: strangulation • Poisoning–––– One of the oldest methodsOver dose or small dosesEmployed at medical facilityArsenic, cyanide, strychnine Witnesses• Witnesses– Suspect name– Suspect description • No witnesses– Family– Neighbors– Associates Suspects• At crime scene• Not at the crime scene– Suspect known– Disseminate information to other law officers • Not known identification priority– Narrow list to prime suspects • Motive– Intent– Develop suspect– Circumstantial evidence The Declining Clearance Rate• Clearance rate: crimes solved/crimesreported• Crimes solved by arrest/exceptionalmeans• Exceptional means– Death of the offender– Victim refuses to cooperate– Extradition denied The Declining Clearance Rate,continued• Homicide clearances– Declining– 1961: 94%– 2009: 66% • Reasons for homicide clearances decline– Increase in stranger-to-stranger homicides– Gang-related offenses– Community and witness intimidation The Declining Clearance Rate,continued• Clearing a homicide– Time•••• Suspect fled and cannot be foundWitnesses forgetting key informationWitnesses no longer availableTainted evidence – Use of weapon– Location of homicide– Police efforts•••• Immediate police responseNotify law enforcement officers of homicideSecure crime sceneLocate witnesses The Declining Clearance Rate,continued• Police detectives– Time to arrive at crime scene: 30 minutes– Three or four detectives assigned– Investigate the scene– Interview witnesses follow up information– Attend postmortem examination The Declining Clearance Rate,continued• Other police actions– Computer check on the suspect and gunsfound– Interview witnesses, friends, acquaintances,neighbors The Declining Clearance Rate,continued• Witnesses might know– Suspect’s motive– Suspect or victim– Where suspect found The Declining Clearance Rate,continued• Ten common errors in death investigations–––––––––– Improper response to the sceneFailure to protect the crime sceneNot handling suspicious deaths as homicidesResponding with a preconceived notionFailure to take sufficient photosFailure to manage the process (maintaining chain of custody andproper documentation)Failure to evaluate victimologyFailure to conduct effective canvassFailure to work as a teamCommand interference or inappropriate action Cold Cases• 40% homicides unsolved cold cases• Homicide moved to cold case status– Number of cases– Staff available • After 72 hours solving homicide unlikely• Cold case unit officers–––– Retired investigator volunteersIncreased homicide clearance ratesExonerate suspectsVictims’ survivors Cold Cases, continued• Cold case reopened if– Physical evidence preserved– New technology– Witnesses cooperative Death Notification•••• Notify survivors before on newsPolice dispatcher, police chaplainTwo-person teamReaction cannot be predetermined– Immediate medical attention– Aggressive • Killed in the line-of-duty• Follow protocol–––– WhoHealth problemsClergy memberFamily friend Strategies for Reducing Homicide• Reactive to proactive• Two trends led to change– Crime analysis– Community policing and problem-solvingapproach Summary•••••••••••••••• Classification of deathsElements of the crimeChallenges in investigationEquivocal deathSuicidePreliminary investigation of homicideThe homicide victimEstimating the time of deathThe medical examination or autopsyUnnatural causes of death/method usedWitnessesSuspectsDeclining clearance rateCold casesDeath notificationStrategies for reducing homicide

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