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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2009 September;129(3):127-30
Evaluation of the interest of crime reconstruction by confrontation of statements of the accused with medico-legal findings
Charlier P., Durigon M., Lorin de la Grandmaison G.
Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches, France
AIM. This study tried to evaluate the interest of crime reconstruction in homicide cases, determining the frequency and nature of discrepancies between the statements of the accused with forensic autopsy data.
METHODS: This retrospective study interested all homicide cases autopsied in the forensic department of the University Hospital R. Poincaré from 1991 to 2003 (N.=507). Eighty-two cases in which a crime reconstruction was requested by the investigating magistrate have been selected. In all cases, age and sex of the victim, main cause of death and the presence of associated non-lethal lesions of violence were reported. The frequency and nature of discrepancies between the statements of the accused during the crime reconstruction have also been studied.
RESULTS: One or more discrepancies were found in 50% of the cases; when present, such discrepancies were of major importance in almost 50% of cases (N.=22). The main nature of the discrepancies was respectively the place and the position of the assailant related to its victim, the absence of explanation concerning some lesions of violence found during autopsy, the intentional character of the violence lesions and the number of shots or blows.
CONCLUSIONS. This study showed that it is not so rare that medico-legal findings are in contradiction with the statements of the accused, confirming the potential interest of crime reconstruction.