There have always been issues of death and murders during news broadcasts. Homicide takes a good part of the news all over the world. Later, these cases are followed until the perpetrators are brought to book. This involves several formal processes that must be considered by the investigator who has the responsibility of unraveling the mystery. This paper will point out the techniques used in the investigation of homicide within the United States of America.
There are several types of homicide as understood by the laws of the United States. The first type is known as first-degree murder. This is a form of homicide where the perpetrator intentionally and premeditatedly commits a murder. This is the type of homicide that is punished by a life sentence at the least. This includes also felony which is not a direct commitment of murder but happens when the action of a perpetrator leads to the death of another. For instance, if the action of robbery results in the death of a client who had a heart attack, the robbers will have committed a felony (Scott, 2009).
The second type of homicide is called second-degree murder. The main difference between first-degree murder and second-degree murder is the fact that an individual who commits second-degree murder does not have a premeditated intention. This murder happens at a snap due to emotions. This involves intentional and non-intentional homicide (Scott, 2009).
Finally, there is manslaughter which can also be either intentional or unintentional. This also involves a murder that does not involve premeditated intentions. A good example of this is a spouse killing his or her partner after catching her in the action of adultery. She can be charged for manslaughter because she acted from the heat of passion (Scott, 2009; Free Advice, 2008).
In the event of murder, the body can offer adequate and leading evidence. For example, the injury of the body can be very important in identifying whether it was suicide or homicide. Suicide is usually characterized by a shot in specific parts of the body like the mouth, the head, or chest. Shots in other parts of the body are very unlikely to be suicides. The distance of the gun from the body can also offer evidence. Most suicidal shots are usually contacted or very close to contact. This results in burn marks in the wound area. It also shows traces of gun powder. Failure to get such characteristics on the body will define homicide. Further still, suicide shots usually assume an upward angle. This can also define suicide as a homicide (Acker, 2009).
Multiple shots are usually an indication of homicide. A suicide victim is in most cases unable to fire more than one shot. The hand that fired the gun in case of suicide always contains gunpowder residue. Unburned carbon is always on the hand that made the shot. Homicide can also be differentiated from suicide if the shot has penetrated through the clothes. Individuals committing suicide rarely shoot themselves through the clothes. They usually shoot themselves through the head or unbutton their shirts in the rare cases where the individual shoots himself on the chest. Finally, evidence of scuffles and struggles like bruises and scratches usually indicate homicide (Acker, 2009).
Modus operandi abbreviated as M.O is simply the method of operation. In criminal realms, it is used to identify the execution techniques and also acts as the way to the identification of the perpetrator’s psychology. Modus operandi is very essential because it assists the investigator to find out how the perpetrator executed his crime, how he tried to conceal evidence, and the way he facilitated his escape (Keppel, 2008, p. 15).
In conclusion, it is important that an investigator understands these simple techniques because they can offer great support in his effort to solve the mystery of the murder.
Acker, M. (2009). Murder or suicide? How you can tell the difference.
Free Advise. (2008). Violent Crimes. Web.
Keppel, R. (2008). Serial Violence: Analysis of Modus Operandi and Signature Characteristics of Killers. Connecticut: Auerbach publications.
Scott, E. (2009). Different types of homicide in criminal law. Associated content. Web.