Assigned Readings Intro to Forensic Anthropology Introduction Forensic Anthropology traces its roots to the analysis of human remains from contexts as diverse as Harvard privies and Chicago?s meat packing industry. Early applications of anthropological expertise to medicolegal contexts commonly focused on providing biological profiles from the study of bones. Age-at-death, sex, stature, anomalous features. An initial step in the individual identification process. Laboratory analysis. Commonly studied in isolation from their contexts. T. Dale Stewart in 1979. Noted that most bones arrived in his laboratory in ?paper bags or cardboard cartons?, well separated from their discovery. Stressed the importance of developing biological profiles and expert testimony but did not emphasize crime scene recovery. Felt it might bias an objective evaluation of the remains. During the closing decades of the twentieth century. Purview expanded to encompass the breadth of casework. From discovery to analysis to expert testimony. Those who train the next generation of forensic students farther than standard osteology. Must be sensitized to the breadth of medicolegal topics that future forensic practitioners must command. 1980 There were no recognized degree programs in forensic anthropology. A few ?tracks?. Developed forensic specialty in human identification without formalized coursework in forensic sciences. Recent appraisal of educational programs in forensic anthropology. Emphasizes the unique responsibilities of the forensic anthropologist. Specialized instruction must be part of a balanced curriculum. Forensic Anthropology: A Brief History (1972 ? 2006) Forensic anthropology was formally recognized as a field only with the establishment of a Physical Anthropology Section within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. 14 founding members that increased to 300 in thirty years. 1977, American Board of Forensic Anthropology. Certifies its diplomats are qualified to engage in forensic anthropological casework. 2006, 10 schools with diplomats on their faculty have training programs in forensic anthropology. Most of the early forensic anthropologists were physical anthropologists. Most had focused their dissertations on the skeletal biology of archaeological samples. Three had conducted research in primatology. Four emphasized human biology. Only two developed dissertations with obvious and direct forensic applications. Diverse experiences and career paths associated with the architects of forensic anthropology as a profession. Most arrived at their forensic work from training in physical anthropology. Specialties ranging from primatology to bioarchaeology. Few dissertations contributed directly to advancing forensic anthropology. Several were influenced by the forensic experiences of their advisers. Varied careers focused on local cases, human rights initiatives, mass disasters, and military decedents. Some maintained professorships, others seldom taught or left their positions to accept forensic responsibilities. Some served as expert witnesses and engaged in high-profile cases. Most spent their time creating biological profiles, distinguishing animal from human bone, and identifying prehistoric materials. United in their concern for advancing the profession for forensic anthropology. What is Forensic Anthropology Today? Forensic anthropology is defined by T. Dale Stewart in 1979 as ?the applied branch of physical anthropology that deals with the identification of more or less skeletonized human remains for legal purposes.? The tasks that forensic anthropologists perform are ?beyond the elimination of nonhuman elements, the identification process undertakes to provide opinions regarding sex, age, race, stature, and such other characteristics of each individual involved as may lead to his or her recognition.? Current definition: Forensic Anthropology is the application of the science of physical anthropology to the legal process. The identification of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise unidentified human remains is important for both legal and humanitarian reasons. Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to identify human remains, and to assist in the detection of crime. Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, discover evidence of foul play, and/or the postmortem interval. In addition to assisting in locating and recovering suspicious remains, forensic anthropologists work to suggest the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of a decedent from the skeleton. Four key distinction between these definitions. The 1979 formulation focused on identification of remains. Did include a chapter on judging time and cause of death. Individual identification was the central theme. Forensic anthropologists also ?assist in the detection of crime? and ?discover evidence of foul play, and/or postmortem interval.? The mandate has clearly broadened since 1979. Humanitarian initiatives such as the investigation of human rights violations are recognized in the 2006 definition. Highly visible, especially within the past decade. The shift from Stewart?s ?more or lest skeletonized remains? to ?skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise unidentified human remains.? Casework has increased involvement with decomposed and fresh remains. Increased engagement of forensic anthropologists in a broad array of medicolegal contexts. Stewart?s volume did not envision forensic anthropologists as part of recovery teams. Expressed skepticism about the development of forensic archaeology as a field. Might compromise the anthropologist?s objectivity in characterizing the remains. Forensic anthropologists are obligated to report precisely what they observe rather than generating results distorted to be comparable with other lines of evidence. Small observations prove crucial later in the investigation. Anthropologist?s presence in certain recovery contexts is invaluable and far outweighs the concerns expressed by earlier Stewart and others. Where Do Forensic Anthropologists Work? Many are employed in university or museum settings. Casework considered to be ?public service?. Less important in promotion and tenure decisions than teaching, research grants, and publications. Research is the cornerstone of forensic anthropology. High caseload can limit the amount of time available for research. Time management can become a difficult balancing act. Many more options are open. Many are employed outside ?the academy?. Private, state, or federal agencies where they practice forensic anthropology. Primary employer of full time forensic anthropologists is the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command?s Central Identification Laboratory. The world?s largest forensic anthropology laboratory. Focuses on searching for, recovering, and identifying personnel unaccounted for from hostilities in wars. Also engaged in humanitarian efforts across the globe. Engaging with the victims of mass disasters. Other governmental or nongovernmental agencies involved in humanitarian initiatives employ forensic anthropologists. Full-time positions for forensic anthropologists relatively low. The need for the objective collection and evaluation of physical evidence by forensic scientists for use in international courts has never been greater. Mass graves make forensic anthropologists essential. Is Forensic Anthropology Expanding in the United States? Number of people is increasing dramatically. Increased activity reflected in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Number of articles nearly tripled between the 70s and 80s. Doubled again during the 90s. Engagement of students in professional venues has increased. Suggests a remarkable level of youthful activity in forensic anthropology. Media. Television shows like Bones and CSI. Jurors and lawyers have expectations that extend well beyond our science. Forensic Anthropology Outside the United States Latin American teams are regularly deployed both nationally and internationally. Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team Nongovernmental Organization 1984 Investigate those who disappeared between 1976 and 1983 during the ?Dirty War?. Has worked in 26 countries. Canada Hybrid of US and British systems because the criminal courts in Canada follow English traditions. Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences, 1953, 17 members. Has 450 members today. Does not offer board certification to anthropologists. No full-time forensic anthropologists employed in the medicolegal system. Numerous members consult with local authorities and law enforcement. No formal forensic anthropology graduate training programs. Europe Professionalization of forensic anthropology is more recent than in the US. 1954, paternity identification: the first use of the term in Europe. Found primarily at medicolegal institutions and academic departments within the social and natural sciences. Disciplinary affiliation does not reflect the degree to which forensic anthropologists are engaged in casework. Medicolegal expertise is sought rarely in the United Kingdom. Forensic anthropology is expanding. Research In Forensic Anthropology Today Covers a variety of topics. Specialized Relevant primarily to contemporary forensic casework. Subjects of Traditional Concern Age, sex, stature, and ancestry. Case studies appear to be decreasing. ?Standard? biological profile research is holding steady. Specialized forensic subjects appear to be increasing. Taphonomy, trauma, and forensic archaeology. Research that can be generalized to establish analytical principles and foundations signals the maturation of forensic anthropology as a field. Increasingly focused on developing theories and methods that will be effective during expert testimony. Frye ruling. Specified that expert testimony must be both beyond the general knowledge of the jurors and based on methods considered generally reliable among scientists. 1923 Daubert ruling. Superseded Frye, 1993. Places emphasis on testing through scientific methodology, peer review, error rates, and acceptance within the scientific community. Only applies in federal courts. Been adopted by the majority of states. Impact on expert testimony is more widespread. Increased emphasis on quantification. Statistical bases for inferring identity between antemortem records and post-mortem observations. Identifying multiple point of similarity between 2 sets of records is not sufficient for a positive identification. Certain methods currently fail to meet the Daubert criteria. Facial reconstructions and photographic superimpositions to establish positive identity. Occupational marker and handedness inferences. Biohistorical treatments. Not admissible in court. Methods must be tested on appropriately documented ?knowns.? Skeletal Attributes: Recently living, documented individuals. Autopsy series are commonly used to test osteological methods for estimating ancestry, age-at-death, and sex diagnosis. Forensic Data Bank Contains records for 2,100 cases from across the country. 1,600 for sex and ancestry. Constantly growing through contributions by forensic anthropologists. Also carry positive identifications. Place of birth, medical history, occupation, stature, and weight. Skeletal data include cranial and postcranial measurements, along with information on age indicators, nonmetric cranial attributes, and dental features. Reference series that are contemporary with the case or population about which forensic inferences are to be made is very important. Recent research compared modern forensic cases in the data bank with earlier autopsy. Differences in morphologies between races. Limb length and stature differ as well. Forensic Anthropology in Perspective Vital and rapidly developing applied subfield of physical anthropology. More career paths and training. Better training/education. Research is becoming more sophisticated. Includes topics of specialized interests and others of more general significance. Need for forensic anthropologists to be trained beyond skeletal biology. Medical and legal terminology and procedures. Crime scene investigation. Individual identification. Methods for developing descriptive biological profiles. Sex, age, stature, and ancestry. Specialized aspects of forensic analysis. Pathology and trauma assessment. Forensic taphonomy. Personal identification. Mass death Mass disasters, establishing individual identity, and genocide. International investigations of Human Rights violations. Establishing medicolegal jurisdiction in international contexts. Biohistory Historical questions, methods, and ethics.
Want to see the other 6 page(s) in Intro to Forensic Anthropology Assigned Reading.docx?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!