Justin C. Smith


Certain routine steps are taken in investigating fatal injury inflicted by a firearm either as a result of foul play or accident. A fatal gunshot case presents many challenging medicallegal problems which involve cooperation among the forensic pathologist, firearms identification expert, laboratory technician and the police. The belief that an "expert" can view the body and without further corroborating evidence testify in court as to the range at which this person was shot and the calibre of the weapon is one of the most common fallacies. Since the average person interested in law enforcement is generally not trained in medicine it seems best to discuss the information which can be obtained from an examination of a gunshot victim's body.

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