Homicide

There have been numerous cases where individuals have been murdered in the cell by another inmate. Such deaths are most commonly associated with blunt trauma, but strangulation, stabbing, and other methods may be employed if suitable weapons are available. It is also evident that individuals have been deliberately assaulted and killed by police officers during arrest and detention.

The forensic physician should always be aware of the possibility that police may have used excessive force or that deliberately homicidal injuries may have been inflicted. If injuries are present on any individual in their care, these injuries must be carefully documented and, if they are beyond that which the physician considers reasonable in the circumstances, their concerns should be expressed immediately to a senior officer, to a legal representative of the detainee, and an official complaints procedure. The physician also has the duty to ensure that no further harm comes to that person.

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