For investigation of a murder case in UK for the first time a 3D printed shill replica was used by a British prosecutor. The 3D v oriented model was used to demonstrate the heavy and serious injuries faced by a 6-year-old Ellie Butler who was allegedly murdered in 2014 by her own father Ben Butler. Bitty type model of the 3D printed skulls were presented to the jury.
Prior this 3D printing has been used in hospitals, factories and laboratories using it for investigation tends to be another new application of the 3D printing technology. Slowly 3D printing is also being associated with the court of law. And now sooner will it turn out to be carving itself a small yet a foremost role for itself in the legal sector by transforming some of the evidence from the case of crime scene into tangible and physical objects for a jury's examination and inspection.
In the history of crime and court jurisdictions for the first time 3D oriented replicas of the skulls were used to evidence the injuries sustained by an alleged murder victim. It's a very saddening case as it concerns the murder of a 6-year-old British girl Ellie Butler, who was allegedly beaten up to death her very own father Ben Butler in October 2013. Since then Butler is on trial for the murder case of her daughter where as his partner in crime Jennie Gray is charged with case of child cruelty.
The 3D printed skulls were made with the help of visual data from the CT scan s and x-rays and further being used to find out if Ellie’s injuries were result of an accident or not. These models actually provided a more detailed, clear and physical look at the injuries that led to the damage of skull than the photographs and onscreen 3D models would be able to give. However, Prosecutor ED Brown very quickly justified the electronic records that transferred into 3D objects may play an important to in proceedings. He said, "They are illustrative and explain the evidence rather than being the evidence itself."
The defending barrister many may attempts to lead out the 3D printed evidential models by saying, ”It appears to us they are not identical... and I think some care should be taken. They are simply somebody's best efforts at recreating what has been seen on the scans and not entirely representative of what has been seen on the scans. Too much reliance should not be placed on their absolute accuracy.”
It's the first instance where 3D printed skulls are being used in a legal case many other countries round the globe have opted for the option. The New York based law firm Fennemore Craig has been using 3D printed models in many lawsuits. The 3D printed replicas are used in various ways to demonstrate certain technological component that might have been designed in a more detailed and effective manner. Apart from the Ellie Butler case 3D printed models had been used a year ago for a similar case, where the prosecutor 3D printed the murder weapon that was a bottle that was used by the defendant Lee Dent in the murder of the soccer player Alex Sosa.
The Butler case still continues on its trials yet with no indication regarding the impact of the 3D printed skulls. Further many barristers and lawyer will consider the demonstration of the 3D printed models for a detailed investigation of the case.