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Intro Forensic Anthropology Week 2

by: Danielle Johnson

Intro Forensic Anthropology Week 2 Anth 310

Danielle Johnson
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
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About this Document

Week 2 of Forensic Anthropology. 2/1/2016.
Intro to Forensic Anthropology
Dr. Barbian
Class Notes
forensic anthropology, Anthropology




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Johnson on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 310 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Barbian in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 76 views. For similar materials see Intro to Forensic Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

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Date Created: 02/08/16
Forensic Anthropology  Week 2  2/1/2016  Ethics    ● Way to interact with the world  ○ cultural attitudes towards the dead should impact the conduct of practitioners  dealing with the dead    Indigenous Remains  ● Which agency to call?  ○ State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO)  ■ officers that deal with historic and indigenous remains   ● any remains more than 100 years   ○ Coroner/Medical Examiner  ● anything less than 100 years is forensic interests  ● Social and political concerns paramount  ● Indigenous beliefs  ○ ancestors are important still  ■ they still have ties to you that they’re still important  ■ they still need respect and still have rights    Personal Ethics  ● Practice and Meaning  ○ Scientific   ○ Political  ■ organized relief agency   ● Crimes Against Humanity (The International Tribunal)  ○ wants execution  ■ Military Branch of US Government  ● wants political propaganda purposes to continue/ begin to be in an  area for control  ● Standards of Work  ● Rights of families  ● Death Penalty  ● Personal Safety  ● Questions of Justice    Personal Identification in Forensic Anthropology    Personal Identity  ● Biological Attributes  ○ Sex  ○ Height  ○ Skin Color  ○ Age  Forensic Anthropology  Week 2  2/1/2016  ● Cultural Factors  ○ Gender  ○ Self­identified Race  ○ Religion  Identification of the Dead  ● Body is not released to the families until the medical examiner identifies the body  ● Perform funerary rites  ● “Closure”  ○ culturally important  ● Legal and financial reason  ■ if a large disaster occurs a death certificate can be signed by the medical  examiner allowing for the following to be resolved   ○ Inheritance  ○ Insurance  ○ Contractual obligations  ● Prosecution of the guilty    Corpus Delicti  ● Most basic biological evidence of a crime  ● Establish relationship between victim and criminal   ● Criminal courts require heavy burden of proof  ○ previously a body was always need to convict someone and is one of the most  important parts of the prosecution cases  ○ cannot victimize someone without leaving some kind of evidence behind    Personal Identification  ● When body has not been altered  ○ Facial form  ■ General build and stature  ■ Eye color  ■ Hair color and style  ● misidentification has occurred, because of these non­scientific methods  ● When body is burned, decomposed, fragmented or disfigured  ○ scientific determination  ■ Biological profile  ■ Unique life history markers  ■ Idiosyncratic anatomical variation  ○ Non­biological contextual evidence may be use as well   Antemortem Information ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­> comparison < ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Postmortem Information  ↓  Identification  Unique biological information is the key!  Forensic Anthropology  Week 2  2/1/2016  Antemortem­before death (fingerprints, medical records, dental records, DNA, social records)  hard to get because you have to know who the individual is  ● the physical features and identification ids given by the anthropologists give info that  narrows down so the antemortem info can be searched through  ● If body is dumped in another jurisdiction very unlikely to be id’d    Postmortem­ after death    Personal Identification  ● Begins with population data  ○ demographic profile places into one of several groups  ● Then collect personal data to identify the missing person     Positive Identification  ● Most rigorous scientific standard  ● Approaching 100% certainty  ○ Goal in forensic cases  ○ Applied when a single descendant of unknown identity  ● Evidence   ○ Fingerprints  ○ Nuclear DNA  ■ is really expensive  ■ backlog    Presumptive Identification  ● Logically associate remains with a specific individual  ● Investigators assign probative value to evidence  ○ Based on assumptions and context  ● Circumstantial evidence at the scene  ○ Personal effects and documents    Example: Small Plane Crash  ● Three passengers: adult male, adult female, and child  ● Assumptions:  ○ passengers manifest is accurate  ○ Trust demographic data 


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