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Brutal homicides must be murder

By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Sunday, August 13 2017

Defence attorneys attempt to have murder charges covert to manslaughter since the latter charge does not carry the death penalty.

However, according to forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov, there are three instances in which he would seek to ensure that homicide cases are not converted into the lesser charge.

These are when the homicide is committed with brutality, torture and, or, execution-style.

Alexandrov made the comments yesterday at the Bayshore Basketball Court at Trainline Marabella, where members of the Sow a Seed, Reap a Harvest Community Outreach hosted its second annual backto- school and health fair. Sow a Seed, Reap a Harvest Community Outreach is an non-governmental organisation with the Legal Affairs Ministry.

When someone kills another person, forensic pathologists call it a homicide.

It is never called murder.

“Murder is a judicial term. The judiciary deals with murders and manslaughters, two different categories. Every defence lawyer is trying to convert murder into manslaughter because it does not imply the hanging,” Alexandrov said.

Alexandrov explained that there are five categories of death, one of which is homicide. The others include accidents, natural, suicide and undetermined.

He noted that apart from the high homicide rate in this country, there is also a high accident rate and often drivers and passengers do not wear their seatbelts.

“Believe it or not, in (United States of) America if the passengers or drivers are not belted its immediately US$200 fine. In this country, for whatever reason I don’t know, people do not put seat belt. I did the autopsy of the man who invented the belt and he died in motor vehicle accident without seatbelt,” Alexandrov said.

In cases of suicides in this country, the most common one is by ingesting poisonous substances followed by hanging.

Alexandrov has performed an estimated 30,000 plus autopsies for the past 45 years worldwide.

He has been working in TT for the past nine years.

Many people, even at a young age, have heart diseases because a lot of people have diabetes, he said, also commenting on lifestyle illnesses.

“Diabetes is famous for complications of the kidneys. Despite popular belief that blood pressure depends on heart, blood pressure depends on kidneys.

The youngest heart attack victim was a 16 year old boy. If I did not know that the heart belonged to this 16 year old boy, I would say it belonged to somebody who is 75 years old or even more,” he explained.

At the health fair and distribution yesterday, the forensic pathologist gave demonstrations with real human remains and explained information about the field of study which he described as “fascinating”.

“When an autopsy is done, we give all the information to police investigators for them to have a scenario about what happened. The autopsy does not solve crimes. But the autopsy is very important to give a clue about what happened and most important, how it happened,” Alexandrov explained.

Also speaking at the event was Reverend Karen Alexis, a member of the Arima Open Bible Church who encouraged the youths to make positive choices in life.



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