Personal identification in legal proceedings and social matters consists of the description, comparison and correct attribution of some relevant biological individualising characteristics. Determination of an identity is generally achieved through construction of the biological profile (i.e. ancestry, sex, age, stature) and comparison of the individualising characteristics, to obtain a positive match. Although present techniques are mainly focused on identification of unknown decedents, due to more recent proliferation of personal, public and commercial installation of video surveillance systems and to image capture on mobile phones, the identification of living persons through video and images has become a major source of evidence in criminal investigations and at trials. This paper retrospectively evaluates the contributions of anthropological reports to the resolution of personal identification cases at the Operative Unit of Anthropology of the ‘G. d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti–Pescara, Italy, between 1996 and 2019. Of the 476 forensic facial comparisons carried out, for 151 of them (31.7%) it was not possible to carry out any facial imaging analysis due to diverse factors that affected the images and facial features of the subjects being analysed and compared. Of the remaining comparisons (325; 68.3%), the facial imaging techniques used for identification from video recordings and images were: morphological analysis (174; 53.5%); metric analysis (1; 0.3%); combination of morphological and metric analysis (143; 44.0%); photographic superimposition in combination with morphological and metric analysis (4; 1.2%); and facial approximation (3; 0.9%). The aim of this retrospective analysis was a critical evaluation of the advantages and limitations of the different methods used for personal identification in casework. Despite the challenges of facial imaging for human identification, these techniques represent a very important tool in forensic investigations.

Contributions of facial imaging to human identification in forensic cases: a retrospective study (1996-2019) at the Operative Unit of Anthropology of the ‘G. d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy)

Joan Viciano
Primo
;
Luigi Capasso
Ultimo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Personal identification in legal proceedings and social matters consists of the description, comparison and correct attribution of some relevant biological individualising characteristics. Determination of an identity is generally achieved through construction of the biological profile (i.e. ancestry, sex, age, stature) and comparison of the individualising characteristics, to obtain a positive match. Although present techniques are mainly focused on identification of unknown decedents, due to more recent proliferation of personal, public and commercial installation of video surveillance systems and to image capture on mobile phones, the identification of living persons through video and images has become a major source of evidence in criminal investigations and at trials. This paper retrospectively evaluates the contributions of anthropological reports to the resolution of personal identification cases at the Operative Unit of Anthropology of the ‘G. d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti–Pescara, Italy, between 1996 and 2019. Of the 476 forensic facial comparisons carried out, for 151 of them (31.7%) it was not possible to carry out any facial imaging analysis due to diverse factors that affected the images and facial features of the subjects being analysed and compared. Of the remaining comparisons (325; 68.3%), the facial imaging techniques used for identification from video recordings and images were: morphological analysis (174; 53.5%); metric analysis (1; 0.3%); combination of morphological and metric analysis (143; 44.0%); photographic superimposition in combination with morphological and metric analysis (4; 1.2%); and facial approximation (3; 0.9%). The aim of this retrospective analysis was a critical evaluation of the advantages and limitations of the different methods used for personal identification in casework. Despite the challenges of facial imaging for human identification, these techniques represent a very important tool in forensic investigations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/754607
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