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Use of Insect Evidence in Criminal Investigations: Developing a Framework for Strengthening of the Justice System

 

Abstract
Forensic entomology is the utility of arthropods/ insects in legal
investigations. Insects are an important component of cadavers feeding on
the nutrient rich resource provided to them by nature. In doing so they are
performing the important ecological service of decomposition. Blow flies
are among the first insects arriving at the body and laying their eggs. The
larvae that hatch out of the eggs are necrophagous i.e. they feed on flesh.
The flies pupate in soil/dirt beneath the body. The development time of
flies is specific for instance 9-10 days for oriental latrine fly. This time
period allows the entomologists to calculate the time of death roughly
corresponding with the time of egg laying. Besides estimating the time of
death, forensic entomology in some cases can also determine child neglect,
drug use prior to death and identifying potential assailants. In order to
strengthen our justice system training workshops in the discipline should
be made mandatory for the law enforcement agencies. A frame work
should be developed to gradually incorporate the discipline in the legal
system. For this purpose the science should be given its due share in the
curricula of institutes of higher education and collaborative efforts must be
taken to educate the current and future law enforcement professionals.
Key Words: Forensic entomology, blow flies, Pakistan, time of death