Prince George’s Community College
Spring Semester 2005
Forensic Aspects of Death Investigation
Class Meetings: W 6:00 – 9:00 PM; Room TBA Largo Campus
Instructor: Prof. Ray Harris
Office: Bladen Room 208G
Office Phone: 301-386-7553 Fax: 301-583-5280
Department Phone (CFLS): 301.322.0697
Office Hours: MWF 10:15 – 11:150; T and R 0800 – 0900;
A medico legal examination of death based on the mutual cooperation between the medical examiner and the homicide investigator
PREREQUISITES: Reading proficiency level and FOS 101. FOS MUST be taken prior to any other FOS courses (exception FOS 160 and 213). FOS 101 may not be taken concurrently with this course.
COURSE OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, a student will be able to:
1. Describe the component of medicolegal investigations and implications of death investigations with respect to the roles and responsibilities of the different forensic disciplines, and demonstrate knowledge of forensic/medicolegal terminology and the scientific techniques used in medicolegal investigations.
2. Examine the differences between the coroner and medical examiner death investigation systems
3. Identify the cause, manner and mechanism of death, including the characteristics that differentiate the manner of death (homicide, suicide, natural or accidental.
4. Describe the principles of differentiation between Antemortem and postmortem injuries, and describe various types of trauma and disease.
Please Note!! The content of this course is extremely graphic.
Handbook of Forensic Pathology, Vincent J. M DiMaio and Suzanna E. Dana, MD Press, 1998; ISBN: 0-9724801-0-2
Forensic Pathology, 2nd Edition; Vincent J. DiMaio and Dominick DiMaio, CRC Press, 2001; ISBN 0-8493-0072-X
Final grades will be based on the following:
4 Tests (125 marks each)
3 out of 5 writing assignment (110 each)
This course consists of four (4) tests. These tests are not cumulative. The format of these tests are multiple choice, true and false, fill-ins and short answer. Each test may contain 48 to 60 questions. Note! Please see last page of syllabus for chapters covered by each test.
All tests will be taken in the classroom. To be eligible for a make-up test you must:
2. Provide me with official documentation regarding your absence (i.e.: doctor’s note, court summons, employer note, etc.)
Discussion and lecture will teach basic scientific principles and techniques, which will help you to understand how crime scene evidence is analyzed in a forensic laboratory. Class discussion will be encouraged in the sharing of information for all concerned. You should keep abreast of current events/news regarding the class topics we will cover, and be prepared to discuss them. Audiovisual, video and computer aids, as well as guest speakers may be used to enhance your learning experience.
WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: “WORD DOCUMENT ONLY” no WordPerfect
You must complete 3 assignments out of the following 5 choices. On the front page of the assignments you must indicate the choice.
1. A book review on a non-fiction, course-related approved book
2. An autopsy observation via a video, HBO, etc.
3. Summary of Journal of Forensic Science (JFS) article
4. Summary of a current issue involving a death investigation
5. Planning the Perfect Poison paper. (handout provided)
Assignments should be a minimum of four pages, typed and double spaced, and properly referenced using APA STYLE. In addition to choosing 3 of the 5 assignments, you may also choose which to turn in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due dates. In the event that you are absent, assignments may be turned in early, faxed, E-mailed as an attachment, or submitted in the Digital Drop box in Blackboard. Late assignments will lose 10 marks per class that they are late. Assignments will NOT be accepted more than two weeks late.
You will present one of your assignments orally to the class during one of the last two class meetings. The presentation should be at least 15 to 20 minutes with visual aids strongly encouraged. The presentation should be given freely and read from the report.
All completed assignments and tests will be returned to you. It is your responsibility to save all graded papers until you receive your final grade in this course. In case of a discrepancy, you must be able to show me the graded paper before I will correct any errors. Using the attached grade record sheet will help you keep track of your points for class.
ATTENDANCE & PARTICIPATION:
Attendance (including late arrivals and early departures) will be recorded.
You are responsible for all material presented in class whether or not you attend.
HOW TO LOG INTO BLACKBOARD
Go to Prince George’s Community College’s Blackboard site at http://pgcconline.blackboard.com
Click on the button labeled Login
You will see a dialogue box that asks you to enter your username and password.
Your username will be: (first initial of first name) first 3 initials of last name) (your birth month expressed as two digits; if your birthday is in March, it would be entered as 03) (your birth date expressed as two digits; if your birth date is on the first of the months, it would be entered as 01) Use only lowercase to enter your username; use NO spaces.
Example: if your name is Jane Smith and your birthday is April 8, your username is jsmi0408.
Your password will be: your full 9-digit Social Security Number (no spaces, no hyphens) Example: 123456789
If your login is successful, you will see the Blackboard “Welcome” screen. In the box labeled “My Courses”, you will see the course or a list of courses in which you are enrolled. Click on the course name to enter your Blackboard course.
Immediately change your password. To change your Blackboard password, follow these steps:
1. Log into Blackboard using your given username and password
2. From YOUR Blackboard Welcome page (you will see WELCOME,___! In bold letters at the top of this page), click on Personal Information in the Tools Box on the left side.
3. Click on Change Password. Fill in the requested information. You can change your password to any combination of numbers and letters. Blackboard is extremely case-sensitive so use only lowercase letters.
4. Click the Submit button in the lower right corner.
5. IMPORTANT Write down your username and password information so you can refer to it if you forget.
DISABILITY SUPPORT SERVICES
Students requesting academic accommodations are required to contact the Disability Support Services Office (M-1042) or call 301.322.0838(voice) or 301.322.0122(TTY) to establish eligibility for services and accommodations. Students with documented disabilities should discuss the matter privately with their instructors at the beginning of the semester and provide a copy of their Student/Faculty Accommodation Form.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The Prince George’s Community College Code of Conduct defines the rights and responsibilities of students and establishes a system of procedures for dealing with students charged with violations of the code and other rules and regulations of the college. A student enrolling in the college assumes an obligation to conduct himself/herself in a manner compatible with the college’s function as an educational institution. Refer to the 2004-2005 Student Handbook, beginning on page 39, for a complete explanation of the code of conduct, including the Cole of Academic Integrity and the procedure for dealing with disruptive student behavior.
CODE OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
The college is an institution of higher learning that holds academic integrity as its highest principle. In the pursuit of knowledge, the college community expects that all students, faculty, and staff will share responsibility for adhering to the values of honesty and unquestionable integrity. To support a community committed to academic achievement and scholarship, the Code of Academic Integrity advances the principle of honest representation in the work that is produced by students seeking to engage fully in the learning process. The complete ext of the Code of Academic Integrity is in the 2004-2005 Student Handbook (pages 41-43) and posted on the college’s website.
Academic dishonesty will NOT be tolerated. An act of cheating will result in a grade of zero being assigned to the work. Any repeated incident will result in a course grade of “F”. Cheating includes:
No visitors (including children) are allowed in class. Please silence all pagers, cell phones, alarms, and other electronic equipment during class. Only fluids will be allowed during daytime classes. If your class is in the evening Food and Drink will be allowed with minimal disruption to classmates or your professor.
STRATEGIES FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS:
The course material is cumulative in that comprehension of subjects later in the course hinges on your understanding of earlier, foundation concepts. If you need clarification on something you missed in class or on an exam, or you didn’t understand something during your studying, please ask me about it.
Last day to apply for Spring Graduation Tuesday, February 15
Presidents’ Day – College Closed - No Classes Monday, February 21
Change from “credit to audit or audit to credit” Friday, March 4
Spring Break – College Closed – No Classes Mon.-Sun., March 21-27
Last Day to withdraw from full-semester classes Friday, April 22
Final Examination period/last week of classes Tues.-Mon., May 10-16
Commencement, 7 PM Thursday, May 26
COLLEGE RESOURCES and SERVICES
Student Assessment Services Center (Testing Center)
Bladen Hall, Room 100 301.322.0090
Check the website for hours and policies and procedures
Tutoring and Writing Centers (www.pgcc.edu/student/tutoring_writing_grammer)
Bladen Hall, Room 107 301.322.0748 for appointment
If you have the feeling that something is missing from your studies, the Tutoring Center can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together with free one-on-one or group tutoring. The Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring for all students who are working on any writing assignment in any course.
Student Development Services 301.322.0886
Student Development Services has various programs that provide students with mentoring, advising and individual counseling. Call or check the website for more information.
Accokeek Hall General Information 301.322.0102
The Learning Resource Division provides a range of library and media services.
Refer to the website for hours and more information about the services.
Campus Bookstore (www.pgcc.edu/pgweb/pgdocs/bookstore.htm)
Largo Student Center, Room 116 301.322.0912