13 Med. Sci. & L. 1 (1973)

handle is hein.journals/mdsclw13 and id is 1 raw text is: 




                           MEDICINE


                           SCIENCE


                           and the LAW
VoL 13. No. 1              The Official Journal of the
January, 1973              British Academy of Forensic Sciences



Editorial

IN the past the diagnosis of death due to immersion was largely made on
either negative findings or the finding of voluminous lungs with river debris
in the air-passages. During the last few years several medicolegists have used
the so-called' diatom method 'in an attempt to place the diagnosis of drown-
ing on a more scientific basis. Mr. Hendey, who has devoted a considerable
Part of his life to the study of diatomaceous material, discusses on page 23 of
this issue the diagnostic value of diatoms in such medicolegal cases.

  The apparent increased incidence of' mugging ' is to be deprecated almost
as much as the terminology. ' Mugging' is an American term which has
been glorified in recent months by the mass media and merely describes a
form of' robbery with violence '. It is not a new method of violence, but is a
combination of greed, immaturity, lawlessness, and brutality among certain
groups of adolescents who can only attack, usually defenceless people, in a
Pack or gang. Much has been written recently as to what sentences should be
given to these gangs of predators but little thought has, as yet, been given to
its causation. Obviously there must be lack of parental control and guidance
and, whilst in all probability they would have made bad soldiers, one wonders
what a bit of' square bashing ' and ' short back and sides ' would have done.
Until a better means of eliminating this outbreak of' mugging ' can be found,
the only deterrent appears to be severe sentences.

  The Government's inter-departmental Committee on Mentally Abnormal
Offenders, under the Chairmanship of Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, is now
ready to receive written evidence. Set up jointly by the Home Secretary and

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