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Signs of Death: How important in criminal investigation

Authors: Rajni Negi and Shambhavi Sinha, Students, Jamnalal Bajaj School of Legal Studies, Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan, India

Abstract

The paper reviews the signs that occur in the body of a person after their death and how it is important in a criminal investigation. In a murder scene after the culprit has left the crime scene the dead body along with the crime scene talks to the investigating officer with the help of different tools and methods provided by Forensic Science. The body itself lets out various information i.e. the cause of death, the weapon used etc. The signs differ depending upon the time that has passed after the death of a person i.e. rigor mortis, algor mortis, changes in the eyes etc. Also, the speed of the process of decomposition is a factor depending upon the temperature of the surrounding which provides us a broad idea about the area where the incident took place. During a criminal investigation, it is commonly seen that the oral witness may get hostile and is assumed that the evidences collected by forensic science from the dead body are not dependable upon emotions and are usually more reliable and accurate form of evidence. But with careful planning, a mastermind culprit with the proper planning can point the evidences in different direction and help him in escaping penalty. It is the duty of the Forensic Science to pinpoint such fake evidence and find out the actual chain of events that took place. Currently in our country, in a criminal case, the eyewitness is considered as a more reliable source and is given preference over results from Forensic Science. This in our view is inappropriate and equal importance should be given to both of them.

Keywords: Decomposition, Rigor Mortis, Algor Mortis Hostile, Investigators, Eyewitness

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