Death Investigations and Forensic Science in the US

The significant problems of modern forensic science in the United States are of progressively growing public interest. State activities related to detecting and investigating fatal crimes are an essential element of the judicial system. Moreover, if the mechanism described above does not work or produces false conclusions, it may result in the potential offender not being found. Based on the data presented, several problems with the death investigation system can be described with several clarifications and a possible solution (Byker, 2011). Thus, analyzing the available information and subsequent conclusions is an effective way to draw public attention to the problem at hand and the purpose of this paper.

First, attention should be paid to the differences in the operation of death investigations in the various states of America. According to a public source, the main reason for this phenomenon is local differences in laws concerning body analysis (Byker, 2011). For example, certain states stretch out the bureaucratic process before performing an autopsy (Byker, 2011). Such tendency, in turn, leads to premature physiological decomposition of the body, making analysis more difficult and increasing the likelihood of an incorrect conclusion. The main reason for that is the complexity of changing the laws, which requires a series of collegial decisions and the signing of multiple documents at various government agencies (Byker, 2011). Thus, in this case, the cause-and-effect relationship has a basis in jurisprudence.

The importance of determining the cause of death is not insignificant. Should the number of potential serial killers in society increase, the possible negative consequences are evident. However, an additional aspect is the opinion of relatives and the deceased’s inner circle. If the state system cannot establish the exact cause of death and find the perpetrator, the percentage of distrust of the authorities will increase (Byker, 2011). It follows that the likelihood of disturbances and social tensions will increase. The criminal elements, who will observe the developing situation, will also begin to increase their activity without fear of being held accountable. From this, one may conclude that both the living and the deceased need the work of competent criminologists.

One of the critical reasons for this is how public figures who conclude the causes of a person’s death are determined. The video features Dr. Thomas Gill, known for taking on the above duties in various states (Byker, 2011). At the same time, he has shown a negligent attitude toward his work and has often been arrested due to drunk driving on his way to the morgue (Byker, 2011). This situation, one of many similar ones, is the National Standards, which are in effect in all states of America (Byker, 2011). Based on the information provided, Dr. Gill’s position is elective, implying a civil vote (Byker, 2011). As the host noted in the video, the political specifics of the speaker’s charisma and verbal promises prevail in this case (Byker, 2011). As a result, the quality of the staff cannot be brought up to expected standards, which harms the results of examinations.

Several changes are required in the state mechanism of body analysis to solve the described problem. The leading solution would be to introduce appropriate standards for specialists involved in determining the cause of death (Byker, 2011). In addition to receiving appropriate medical and forensic education, it is also necessary to establish a system of examinations, during which potential specialists would have to pass multiple practical tasks (Byker, 2011). Such a decision would prompt states to expedite the introduction of appropriate legal amendments, further speeding up the entire process. The basis for change in the current situation is the systematic admission of specialists.

In conclusion, because of bureaucratic delays and an ineffective voting system, there is a high probability that the situation will be misjudged. The solutions presented have the potential to set in motion a chain of changes that will positively impact the situation. Moreover, bringing the issue to the general public’s attention in the form of ongoing research could accelerate the process of considering and evaluating the proposed system.


Byker, C. [FRONTLINE]. (2011). Post Mortem [Video]. Pbs.Org.

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"Death Investigations and Forensic Science in the US." LawBirdie, 31 Mar. 2023,


LawBirdie. (2023) 'Death Investigations and Forensic Science in the US'. 31 March.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Death Investigations and Forensic Science in the US." March 31, 2023.

1. LawBirdie. "Death Investigations and Forensic Science in the US." March 31, 2023.


LawBirdie. "Death Investigations and Forensic Science in the US." March 31, 2023.