FORENSICS | Nature (prestigious science magazine) releases “Faulty Forensics Under Fire” about Bitemark Unreliabilty

The Nature piece starts with this picture and a following caption. 

Monster teeth

“There is little evidence that bite marks on a crime victim’s skin allow reliable identification of the perpetrator.”

For those who think the National Commission on Forensic Science is not looking at  odontological (i.e. Euro-speak for dentistry ) aspects of “forensic”  bitemark identification, here’s another dose of reality. Although the Commission has no dentist on its elite panel,  I submitted a series of comments for their consideration on the topic, because  one explicit task of their’s IS to review (forensic) odontology. (See, Bowers)

I doubt the major aspect of odontology (which is human identification from autopsy dental exams and then  compared to old dental records) will raise any concerns. Those pro-bitemark survivors (approx 100 continuing to be “certified” by the AAFS/ABFO Connection) should note their meager efforts to marginalize the NAS and other criticisms  as “misinformed”, are failing and does not chill decades of professional and media dissent. It  will NOT work with this Commission.

The following links  are  broader views of opinions relating to forensic science. Besides what I have talked about in the past on this blog, better minds have been following the topics of wrongful convictions. These often contained sloppy, overvalued or invalidated forensic disciplines. The Innocence Project (312 cases)  indicates this happens in about 50% of the time. The National Registry on Exonerations (with a caseload of over 1300) publishes a lower percentage. All of these engined the creation of this Commission.

Two other public interest views (from the news media apparently still  mis-informed according to the AAFS/ABFO brain-trust) I have chosen are 1) this week’s piece from the prestigious weekly scientific publication Nature Magazine where I got this blog’s lead line and 2) the Washington Post which is titled “What does a record number of  exonerations in 2013 tells us”    by Radley Balko.     

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in AAFS, ABFO, Bitemarks, Forensic Science, National FOrensic Science Commission, wrongful convictions. Bookmark the permalink.

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