Texas Forensic Science Commission will investigate convictions based on bite marks

In this April 17, 2013 photo, Peter Bush and Mary Bush, research scientists at the University at Buffalo, demonstrate a modified Vise-Grip tool attached to a dental mold that is used for test bites in skin at the University in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Duprey) 06232013xNEWS

This is Dr. Mary and Peter Bush, from the U of Buffalo. Their recent series of research papers have given the ABFO bitemark “skin-readers” a real headache.

The great state of Texas will be taking a microscopic look at bitemarks. Texas was a hot bed of bitemark convictions and plea deals influenced by this discredited evidence. It even has a case called Coronado which a few years ago said bitemark “matching” was Aok. There also have been executions which relied on bitemark opinions to establish the perpetrator’s identity. See a case I consulted on 7 days before the inmate, Humberto Leal, was executed. Leal_Affidavit_Bowers

Let’s see if the bitemark group, the American Board of Forensic Odontology, cooperates on this review. They have always stonewalled requests for independent case reviews of their “bad” cases claiming “bad apples” were to blame. It sounds like TX is going to look at their “good” cases as well.  If the ABFO ignores this latest and the first state action of this kind, then maybe the American Academy of Forensic Sciences will step up and force them. Or maybe the Attorney General of Texas will subpoena all the casework and take depositions of the bitemark experts involved.

Full article from Texas. 

 

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, Bite Marks, Bitemarks, costs of wrongful convictions, criminal justice reform, CSI, death penalty, junk forensic science and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Texas Forensic Science Commission will investigate convictions based on bite marks

  1. csidds says:

    Reblogged this on FORENSICS in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends and commented:

    Bitemark aided TX execution of Humberto Leal in 2011 ignored direct appeal from the White House. Then Governor Rick Perry rejected plea for added DNA testing.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jul/08/humberto-leal-garcia-executed-texas

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