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Forensic age determination

The Criminal Procedure Code provides for mandatory examination to establish the age of the accused, the suspect and the victim in cases where it is relevant to the case, and there are no documents certifying the age (Article 79 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR and the corresponding articles of the Code of Criminal Procedure of other Union republics). The need to determine age is due to the fact that, in accordance with the requirements of a number of articles of the criminal and civil codes, certain legal consequences, in particular the question of criminal liability, depend on the achievement of a specific age.

Full legal capacity , that is, the ability of a certain individual to acquire the rights and obligations stipulated by law, occurs upon reaching the age of 18 years. Criminal responsibility for the commission of a crime comes from the age of 16, and for murder, intentional infliction of bodily harm, rape, robbery, malicious hooliganism and some other dangerous crimes - from the age of 14 (Article 10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and the corresponding articles of the Criminal Code of other Allied republics).

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The need to determine age also arises on other occasions: when changing children, recruiting, identifying a person, examining corpses that have been dismembered, or when detecting corpses of unknown persons, etc.

The basis for determining age is based on changes in a number of signs: anthroposcopic (skin condition, appearance and change of teeth, their changes, secondary sex characteristics) and anthropometric, reflecting the quantitative aspect of physical development ( height , chest circumference, weight), as well as other signs ( formation, differentiation, involution of the elements of the bone skeleton and other involutive changes).

The signs on which the forensic expert is based, setting age, are very variable and depend on social conditions and biological characteristics (living and nutritional conditions, heredity, previous diseases, physical exertion, profession, etc.). In this regard, each of the signs has a relative evidentiary value and the conclusion about age should be based on an analysis of the entire set of signs.

At different age periods, the possibilities for more or less accurate age determination are different. Only in the first few days of the infant's life is it really possible to determine the duration of life with an accuracy of 1-2 days. In infancy (1st year of life) errors can be 1–1.5 months, in senior school, adolescence (12-17 years) - 2-3 years. In the mature (21–60 years), elderly (60–75 years) and senile (over 76 years) age, fluctuations in the accuracy of determining the age reach 5–10 years.

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In examining the age of children and boys (girls), anthropometric and anthroposcopic features that characterize physical development and a certain period are taken into account: the size of the head, torso, limbs, length and body weight, the presence of milk teeth and their replacement with permanent teeth, differentiation of the bone skeleton, as well as the presence of menstruation and pollutions, the development of secondary sexual characteristics. In adults, additional signs of the involution of the skeletal system, discoloration and skin turgor , the presence and severity of facial wrinkles are taken into account.

Age characteristics of the skin (changes in elasticity, pigmentation, keratinization, an increase in the number of collagen fibers, etc.) are subject to large fluctuations and are largely individual. Approximate terms of the appearance of wrinkles on the face are the following: frontal and nasolabial - at the age of about 20 years, thin wrinkles at the outer corners of the eyes - at 25-30 years, pre-eel - at 35 years, fan-shaped at the outer corners of the eyes - at 35-40 hands and lobes of ears - after 50 years. By the age of 55, pigmented areas begin to appear on the skin of the face, on the back surfaces of the hands and forearms, and the skin loses its elasticity.

A relatively accurate indicator is the age characteristics of the teeth. Data on the degree of abrasion of the teeth of the upper jaw , depending on the age are given in table 13.

Table 13. The degree of erasure of the teeth of the upper jaw in conventional terms, depending on age (Gerasimov M.I., 1955]
Age years Cutters Fangs Small indigenous First great indigenous Second big root
13-14
14—16
16-18
18-20
20-25
25-30
30—35
35—40
40-50
50-60
60-70
0—1
1
1-2
2-3
2-3
3
3
3
3-4
4-5
5-6
0
0
1
2
2
2
2-3
3
3-4
4
5
0
1
1
2
2
2-3
2-3
3
3-4
4
5-6
0
0
1
2
2
2-3
3
3-4
4
5
5-6
0
0
0
1
2
2
2-3
3
3-4
4-5
6
Note: up to 13 years old - erasing has not yet begun, 0 - no erasure; 1 - only enamel is worn; 2 - erasure of the hillocks; 3 - erase affected dentin; 4 - erasure touched the dental canal; 5-erasure has reached the full cross-section of the crown; 6— complete erasing of the crown.