IDENTITYLegal Dictionary -> IDENTITY
IDENTITY, evidence. Sameness.
2. It is frequently necessary to identify persons and things. In criminal prosecutions, and in actions for torts and on contracts, it is required to be proved that the defendants have in criminal actions, and for injuries, been guilty of the crime or injury charged; and in an action on a contract, that the defendant was a party to it. Sometimes, too, a party who has been absent, and who appears to claim an inheritance, must prove his identity and, not unfrequently, the body of a person which has been found dead must be identified: cases occur when the body is much disfigured, and, at other times, there is nothing left but the skeleton. Cases of considerable difficulty arise, in consequence of the omission to take particular notice; 2 Stark. Car. 239 Ryan's Med. Jur. 301; and in consequence of the great resemblance of two persons. 1 Hall's Am. Law Journ. 70; 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 509; 1 Paris, Med. Jur, 222; 3 Id. 143; Trail. Med. Jur. 33; Fodere, Med. Leg. ch. 2, tome 1, p. 78-139. 3. In cases of larceny, trover, replevin, and the like, the things in dispute must always be identified. Vide 4 Bl. Com. 396. 4. M. Briand, in his Manuel Complet de Medicine Legale, 4eme partie, ch. 1, gives rules for the discovery of particular marks, which an individual may have had, and also the true color of the hair, although it may have been artificially colored. He also gives some rules for the purpose of discovering, from the appearance of a skeleton, the sex, the age, and the height of the person when living, which he illustrates by various examples. See, generally, 6 C. & P 677; 1 C. & M. 730; 3 Tyr. 806; Shelf. on Mar. & Div. 226; 1 Hagg. Cons. R. 189; Best on Pres. Appx. case 4; Wills on Circums. Ev. 143, et seq.