Bitemarkers use child abuse cases to defend their continuing acceptance in courts

BMSS copy

[ the top picture shows 6 categories (1 to 6) of increasing bitemark severity types starting at the top left and progressing to the bottom right. My comments below will refer to this picture.]

At Monday’s hearing of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, the ABFO supporters of their brand of “magic” used their trump card of protecting child victim’s of violence. See here.

“Children will suffer”appears in their testimony as a new mantra. Their previous was “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

Bitemark injuries on children are not uncommon, yet this group offers no solutions to the Commission regarding how their child abuse opinions will be any different than their well documented past bitemark disasters resulting in wrongful arrests and convictions. These cases are approaching  30.

As a clinician, it baffles me and apparently the Commission as well, that the pro-bitemarkers can claim any credibility without a scintilla of supporting empirical research.

Especially no research regarding  child abuse bitemarks.

This absolutely follows the plot-line of Shaken Baby Syndrom cases from over the decades.

Counter Point Research

I have personally, along with Professor Iain Pretty who testified to the Commission, researched and published in the Journal of Forensic Study, a study of 49 bitemark cases, one half of which went to court.

This could have been easily reproduced by the ABFO. As usual, nothing happened as they prefer a more “un-scientific” approach to what they claim as fact.

The child abuse cases in our study showed the same lack of detail as did the adult cases that later became DNA exonerations. Both types, child and adult, fell into the lowest detail categories on the top row. Categories 1 and 2.

Here’s a lecture on the subject. .

Disagreement copy

Here’s the complete .pdf

Expert Disagreement in Bitemark Casework


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in criminal justice reform, wrongful convictions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bitemarkers use child abuse cases to defend their continuing acceptance in courts

  1. Hans Snoek says:

    Hello Michael, great comments as usual, how do I access the lecture power point that you have an illustration of on this post?


    Forensic Physician
    New Zealand

  2. csidds says:

    Hi Hans. I just posted the .pdf copy of the Powerpoint on the post. Thanks for asking. Mike

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