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Skeletal Trauma: Identification of Injuries Resulting from Human Rights Abuse and Armed Conflict

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Overview

Born out of the need to recover, analyze, and present physical evidence on thousands of individual victims of large-scale human rights violations, multi-national, multi-disciplinary forensic teams developed a sophisticated system for the examination of human remains and set a precedent for future investigations. Codifying this process, Skeletal Trauma: Identification of Injuries Resulting from Human Rights Abuse and Armed Conflict describes an epidemiological framework for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting evidence for use at trial. It pieces together fragments of skeletal tissue and associated physical evidence to determine a mechanism of trauma that is factually based, methodologically scripted, and scientifically interpreted.

Providing a contextual background, the opening chapter discusses international forensic investigations into Human Rights violations through international tribunals and other emerging judicial systems. The second chapter presents protocols for systemic data collection and methods for the differential diagnosis of wounds to classify and interpret mechanisms of injury. Organized topically, the remaining chapters evaluate blasting injuries, blunt force trauma, skeletal evidence of torture, sharp force trauma, and gunfire injuries. Each chapter discusses wounding mechanisms, wound pathophysiology, relevant legal examples, and case studies.

Twenty-six leading scholars and practitioners from anthropology, pathology, and forensics contribute their research, cases, photographs, and extensive fieldwork experience to provide 16 representative case studies. Taken from human rights violations, ethnic and armed conflict, and extra-judicial executions throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, all evidence in the examples is interpreted through an epidemiological model and set in a legal framework. Several of the exemplary studies, including those from the Balkans, have already been presented as evidence in criminal trials.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780849392696
  • Publisher: CRC Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

An Epidemiological Approach to Forensic Investigations of Violations to International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
International Law and Forensics
An Epidemiological Framework for Trauma Analysis Case Study: Estimating War Crimes from the Wounded to Killed Ratio: The Japanese Embassy, C.C. Snow, J. P. Baraybar, and H. Spirer
Differential Diagnosis of Skeletal Trauma
Reconstructing Skeletal Fractures to Identify Trauma
The Anthroposcopic Examination of Skeletal Injuries
Ruling Out Skeletal Variation and Skeletal Pathology
Classification of Fractures and the Mechanisms of Injury
The Microscopic Examination of Skeletal Tissue
The Timing of Fracture Based on Gross Inspection
Diagnosis of Injuries without Evidence of a Defect
Radiography and Three-dimensional Imaging
The Usefulness of Clothing as Evidence
Photography
Case Study: Finite Element Models of the Human Head in the Field of Forensic Science, J.S. Raul, B. Ludes, and R. Willinger
Blasting Injuries
Explosive Ordnance Devices
Pathophysiology of Blast Injuries
The Context: Fatal Environment and Intent
Differential Diagnosis of Fragmented Blast from Gunfire Injuries
Case Study: Skeletal and Soft Tissue Injuries Resulting from a Grenade, A.B. Seneviratne
Case Study: A Case of Blasting Injury from Colombia, J.M. Pachon
Case Study: “Human Bomb” and Body Trauma, A. Samarasekera
Blunt Force Trauma
The Pathophysiology of Blunt Force Injury
Establishing the Number and Sequence of Injuries
Cranial v. Post-Cranial Variation
Blunt Force Injury Associated with Gunfire Injury
Case Study: The Interpretation of Skeletal Trauma Resulting from Injuries Sustained Prior To, and as a Direct Result of Freefall, O. Finegan
Case Study: A Khmer Rouge Execution Method: Evidence from Choeung Ek, S.C. Ta'ala, G.E. Berg, and K. Haden
Skeletal Evidence of Torture
Documented Cases of Torture in Skeletal Remains from Kosovo and Peru
Differential Diagnosis of Blunt Force Trauma Resulting from Torture, Accidents, and Non-Accidental Mechanisms
Case Study: Torture Sequels to the Skeleton, H.P. Hougen
Case Study: Multiple Healed Rib Fractures: Timing of Injuries with Regard to Death, T. Delabarde
Case Study: Dating of Fractures in Human Dry Bone Tissue: The Berisha Case, G.J.R. Maat
Case Study: Torture and Extra-Judicial Execution in the Peruvian Highlands: Forensic Investigation in a Military Base, J.P. Baraybar, C.R. Cardoza, and V. Parodi
Sharp Force Trauma
Mechanisms of Sharp Force Wounds on Bone
Identifying Sharp Injuries
Sharp-Blunt Injury Associated with Chopping Weapons
Case Study: Disappearance, Torture and Murder of Nine Individuals in a Community of Nebaj, Guatemala, S.C. Chacón, F. A. Peccerelli, L. Paiz Diez, and C. Rivera Fernández
Case Study: Probable Machete Trauma from the Cambodian Killing Fields, G.E. Berg
Gunfire Injuries
The Pathophysiology of Gunfire Injury to Bone
Estimating the Class of Weapon and Ammunition
Differentiating Entry from Exit Defects on Bone
Establishing Bullet Trajectory
Range of Fire
Estimating the Number of Injuries
Sequencing Multiple Gunfire Injuries
Case Study: Firearm Basics, C.J. Waters
Variation in Gunfire Wounds by Skeletal Region
The Skull
The Thorax
The Limbs
Case Study: Tyranny and Torture in the Republic of Panama, A.H. Ross and L. Suarez S.
Case Study: The Pacific War: A Chilean Soldier Found in Cerro Zig Zag, Peru, E. Tomasto Cagigao, and M. Lund

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