The article at the end quotes the defense attorney saying “the criminal justice system works.” Thats one side of the coin, and it may be a bit of a stretch, but is not the entire story. It has taken forensic science decades (on a State-by State basis in their courts) to revamp its research and courtroom testimony to debunk entrenched resistance to modernizing into fire science-based methods. This has largely been accomplished by one man, John Lentini. His colleagues have given him considerable support.
Juxtapose this with the American Academy of Sciences long acceptance of bitemark pattern identification as a science with all the trappings of DNA. This prosyletizing will continue to appear at next month’s AAFS meeting in Orlando Florida. AAFS members will still run their “Bitemark Workshop” at the end of this annual meeting.
I caution any new people attending the AAFS bitemark activities (aka “odontology”) to listen to the “ipse dixit” approach in use by the bitemark adherents.
This bodes ill for those of us who argue in criminal courts and at meetings in support of the NAS 2009 report on bitemark evidence stating bitemarks by themselves (i.e. in no DNA collection cases) is prejudicial to a fair trial. The NAS expected empirical research to be done by this small group of dentist experts. So far they only have come up with “The Tree.”
If I may, I’d like to compare myself and much-valued colleagues in forensic reform to Mr. Lentini in one respect, We have gotten nothing but appalling flak rhttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-30972723
from the bitemark believers and their AAFS supporters.