Entomology and the Law: Flies as Forensic Indicators: 1 Paperback – 21 Aug 2008
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'… the authors are to be congratulated on a book of sound scholarship and of great practical value.' Science & Justice
Entomology and the Law concerns the use of insects to solve crimes, particularly suspicious deaths. Insect-related evidence is one if the most powerful, yet least understood examples of modern forensic science. Covering both the scientific and legal issues, it will aid potential expert witnesses and lawyers alike preparing for trial.See all Product description
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unbeatable "Dream Team" when it comes to combining the law and the science. Everything anyone might need to know about forensic
entomology is in this book. For the scientists/expert witnesses, the "Father of Forensic Entomology", Dr. Bernard
Greenberg, provides a meticulous, highly detailed, and comprehensive guide to using insect-related evidence to determine the time of death in homicide cases. No one in the world knows more about the science and practice of forensic
entomology than Dr. Greenberg, and he has memorialized his decades of research and experience in this volume, the crowning achievement of his unsurpassed career. And for the attorneys who litigate these difficult cases, and who must either prepare or cross-examine the expert witnesses, Law Professor and Harvard Law School graduate John Kunich spells out all of the intricacies of the law of scientific evidence, use of expert witnesses, and specific strengths and weaknesses of forensic entomology evidence in court. ETOMOLOGY AND THE LAW will be indispensable for litigators and scientists all over the world, because of the information it contains on admissibility of scientific evidence in nations other than the United States. Even laypersons will enjoy this book, especially the millions of viewers of the hit television show "C.S.I. (Crime Scene Investigation)," which often features forensic entomology in its dramas. What a rare and sublime union of law and science this book is!
The first section of the book, written by Dr. Greenberg, deals with the history, biology, identification, and use of forensically important flies. Dr. Greenberg's knowledge of flies is indeed extensive, and he has included keys to species of adults and larvae (pupae are ignored) of carrion flies from many parts of the world. Note that only flies are covered in this book, and all of the other forensically important insects are ignored. Also there is no mention of insect succession on the corpse outside of the preface to the first section of the book. This aspect alone limits the application of this book to the early postmortem interval.
The second section of the book, written by John Kunich, focuses on the legal applications of forensic entomology. This section deals with the laws behind scientific evidence, the admissibility of insect evidence, and how to optimize the use of such evidence. Placing the legal aspects into the prospective of forensic entomology made this section useful to the scientist who is interested in that aspect of the criminal justice system alone.
This book is far from being comprehensive. Nowhere are the details of the collection of entomological evidence presented, successional patterns of insects are largely ignored, and the temperature information included in the book is incomplete. Though lawyers and entomologists with experience in the field of medicocriminal entomology will benefit from this book, the curious lay person or law enforcement official should save their money and purchase either Catts & Haskell or Byrd & Castner.
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