This writer is a dear colleague of mine and definitely NOT a member of the ‘heralded’ American Board of Forensic Odontology. She is a full time death investigator working cases on a daily basis. As opposed to the standard “occasional” forensic odontologist.
The use of information is power. When asked (by Robert Toale, a lawyer who represented Abadie and Van Winkle), about his ‘margin of error’ in bitemark analysis, Michael West said, “Something less than my savior, Jesus Christ”.
There is no sense whatsoever in challenging the so-called ‘margin of error’ a specific scientist claims, in this case a Forensic Odontologist, about his or her confidence level in the professional opinion they render in bitemark analysis. The true test is what the jury will believe. And, I might venture, since there was a ‘CSI’ episode involving a bitemark, the jury will chomp on the bait.
The legal profession, in my opinion, must claim responsibility for the admissibility of this ‘bitemark evidence’, the testimony of the biased Foresnsic Dentist who delivered it, and the verdict. Mike West was afforded the power to sway the jury, by the prosecution. I think it is a heavy burden for gate keepers to determine whether…
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