THE SOLUTION COMES FIRST
Support the Innocence Project efforts to educate US law enforcement, trial and appellate judiciary about the danger of junk bitemark forensic evidence. There are at least 3 university-based affiliates of the Innocence Project Network that are actively litigating cases including clients on death row. Donate to:
California Innocence Project: @CA_Innocence represents William Richards. The Mississippi IP represents Eddie Lee Howard, and the New York IP is representing and assisting numerous cases.
“When we look at the US, we find that 50 per cent of the wrongful convictions involve a misapplication of forensic science.” – Peter Neufeld, Innocence Project Co-founder
In reality, [not like CSI ] bitemark testimony is little more than junk.
This excerpt from a recent The Marshall Project article says it all regarding why “bite readers” cannot agree among themselves in court…..
““The skin is convenient,” says Innocence Project attorney Chris Fabricant, who has fought the validity of bite mark forensics in dozens of cases. “You can really point to anything and say, ‘it’s this way because of the elasticity of skin. Or it’s not.’ There’s no underlying research to support either conclusion.” Full article.
Research supporting this statement
Here is published empirical bitemark case research (2008), via a Powerpoint presentation, that supports Fabricant’s [and a host of other legal scholars’ ] opinion that any use of bitemark patterns for ‘biter’ identification continues to be unvalidated and therefore prejudicial in any court of law.
Expert Disagreement in Bitemark Casework
The ‘elite’ of the ABFO, either refuse, prevaricate or are incapable of such analytical review. They rely on statements such as: a) defaming legitimate peer reviewed research, b) mimicry of what’s being said at the NIJ/NIST convocation of forensic science people, c) PR blast for its shrinking membership. (All from the June 2015 Journal of the California Dental Association. pp. 37 to 40). JCDA_06-2015
A. “As useful as this research has been, [………………………} bites can be manipulated to produce distorted or nondistorted patterned injuries. Depending on what results the researchers want to end up with determines how the bites are made.” SEE BELOW ***
B. “The forensic experts have a unified goal — to improve their respective fields by conforming to the rules of scientific investigation and to minimize bias from the subjective elements inherent in the process.”
C. “Not surprisingly, the IP dislikes all forensic odontologists who engage in bite-mark analysis, and especially those who have rigorously achieved board-certified status from the most respected credentialing organization that exists, the American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABOF)” [sic].