Bite-Mark Evidence: Compelling Enough to Convict the Innocent

Bite-mark evidence proved to be both powerful and unreliable in more than two dozen known cases of wrongful conviction. An article by Kathleen Hopkins for Gannett on this issue includes these specific difficulties relating to bite marks as evidence (Source: The Innocence Project and Dr. John Demas, a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences):

• Human skin is not a reliable medium on which to record bite marks because skin is subject to tension, distortion, swelling and elasticity.

• There have been no research studies on live humans to prove that the discipline of bite-mark analysis is scientifically reliable.

• Research on cadavers at the University of Buffalo suggests the same teeth do not make the same bite marks each time.

• Bite marks can be skewed by the movement that goes along with violent acts.

• Bite-mark analysis is subjective and prone to bias.

Read the complete article here.

3 responses to “Bite-Mark Evidence: Compelling Enough to Convict the Innocent

  1. I’m on the side of Chris Fabricant, so my opines are pretty obvious. Dr.Golden needs to be asked what makes those hundreds of other cases any scientifically different than the exons he passes off as ” bad outcomes.” The practitioners have denied IP requests for a joint reviewing of those cases. Much different than the ongoing FBI admission that hair “matching” is unreliable. If you have time for a follow up, my blog presents this and other issues. Thanks for the article!
    BTW. In the NJ newspaper article, Dr. Larry Dobrin is not measuring anything in the leading pic. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
    Mike Bowers DDS JD

  2. Pingback: It's time to take 'the bite' out of court convictions | Forensic News

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