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Forensic Botany

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Table of Contents

List of contributors ix Series Foreword xi Prologue: the begining xiii 1 Introduction to forensic botany 1 David W. Hall, Ph.D. Botanical evidence in legal investigations 1 Legal plant definition 2 Botanical evidence in legal investigations 3 Alibis 5 Timing 5 Gravesite growth 9 Stomach contents 11 Summary 11 2 Plants as evidence 12 David W. Hall, Ph.D. Types of plants 12 Nonplant groups traditionally studied by botanists 22 Plant habitats and associations 25 Plant characteristics/plant morphology 26 Basic plant characteristics for the forensic investigator 28 Habit 28 Plant dispersal 41 3 Evidence collection and analysis 45 David W. Hall, Ph.D. and Jason H. Byrd, Ph.D. Initial crime scene notation 55 Where to search for evidence 56 Storage 61 Documentation of botanical evidence 61 How to have botanical evidence analysed 62 Where to find a botanist 63 Types of cases 63 Evidence analysis 63 Laboratory report 65 Transportation of botanical evidence 66 Evidence retention and disposition 66 Step-wise method for the collection of botanical evidence 68 Appendix 3.1 70 Crime scene data 70 Habitat documentation 70 Scene location 70 Collection information needed for each botanical sample 70 Appendix 3.2 72 Botany field data sheet 72 Appendix 3.3 76 Botany laboratory examination data format 76 Appendix 3.4 78 Evidence log 78 4 Expert evidence 79 Bernard A. Raum JD, MFS The common law 79 The United States experience 80 The decision in Frye v. United States 81 The codified federal rules of evidence 82 The decision in Daubert v. Merrill Dow25 85 The scientific method 86 The pure opinion rule 87 The United Kingdom experience 88 The criminal procedure rules 2010, s.33 90 The law commission consultation paper no. 190 92 5 Use and guidelines for plant DNA analyses in forensics 93 Matthew A. Gitzendanner, Ph.D. Introduction 93 Types of samples and collection for DNA analyses 94 Uses of genetic data 95 Genotyping methods 98 Finding a laboratory for analysis 102 Case studies 102 Conclusions 104 References 104 6 A primer on forensic microscopy 107 Christopher R. Hardy, Ph.D. Microscopes and microscopic botanical structures relevant to forensic botany 107 The importance of reference collections in microscopic analysis 115 Preparation and documentation of specimen evidence for microscopic examination 116 References 118 7 Plant anatomy 119 David W. Hall, Ph.D. and William Stern, Ph.D. The lindbergh case 121 Further reading 126 8 Palynology, pollen, and spores, partners in crime: what, why, and how 127 Anna Sandiford, Ph.D. Terminology 127 What are pollen and spores? 127 Where are they found and how do they travel? 129 What does pollen look like? 130 The use of pollen for non-forensic work 132 The use of pollen in the forensic setting 132 When should pollen samples be collected? 134 How to collect and store pollen samples 134 How many samples to collect? 138 Who can collect pollen samples and where can an analyst be found? 139 Costs and turnaround times 140 Case examples 140 Summary 142 References 143 9 Algae in forensic investigations 145 Christopher R. Hardy, Ph.D. and John R. Wallace, Ph.D. Finding an algal botanist and identifying algae 145 Algal diversity 146 Application of algal evidence in forensic investigations 154 Collection and processing of algal evidence in forensic investigations 165 Acknowledgements 172 References 172 10 Case Studies in forensic botany 174 David W. Hall, Ph.D. Placing people or objects at scenes 174 Determining time of death 181 Index 189


This book entitled Forensic Botany: A Practical Guide isan excellent guide and teaching tool for biological evidencetraining, a resource for scientists, law enforcement and attorneysalike, and review material before trial. Forensic guidelines forplant material are limited and training is specialized; therefore,this truly is an excellent, readable scientific guide for theforensic community. (Journal of ForensicSciences, 1 July 2013)

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