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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 236906 Find in a Library
Title: Death Certification of "Suicide by Cop"
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:56  Issue:6  Dated:November 2011  Pages:1657-1661
Author(s): Amber R. Neitzel, B.S.; James R. Gill, M.D.
Date Published: November 2011
Page Count: 5
Type: Case Study; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Death certification of “suicide by cop” is controversial among some medical examiners and coroners. This article presents five such deaths that were certified as suicides and discusses the medico-legal issues involved with these certifications.
Abstract: To certify such a death as a suicide, certain criteria should be met. Suicide by cop is a circumstance that involves competing intentional acts that may result in dichotomous determinations of the manner of death. Despite the absence of direct self-infliction, there is overwhelming evidence that these five individuals intended to end their own lives. Their use of an unusual method to accomplish this goal may inappropriately result in a reflexive certification of homicide. All of the decedents possessed weapons or a facsimile of a weapon. After examining the five instances classified as "suicide by cop," The authors contend that these types of deaths are best certified as suicides. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Lawful use of force; Police weapons use; Suicide; Suicide causes
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