Judges receive Science Commission training about junk bitemarks

Image result for blair county courthouse

There is more non-science flim-flam being praised in Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania (pictured above). The bitemarkers’ attack once again. I’m sure the judge needs some help figuring things out.

Short Backstory

Texas hit the news this year in its de-listing the use of bitemark matchers and their testimony within the boundaries of the Republic.

This hasn’t kept certain prosecutors (PA  has another ongoing bitemark case: Kunco  ) from continuing to advance the fallacy of identifying “persons of interest” via toothmarks in skin.

Image result for dana delger

Dana Delger, (pictured above) a New York Innocence Project Strategic Unit litigator, has this to say about challenging voodoo, astrology and palm-reading’s equivalent making an appearance in the Blair County courthouse.

“Now that we know there are problems, the question is … What do we do in the future?” she said. “We can’t pretend (bite mark evidence) is still reliable.”

Here’s the DA’s spin on keeping the bitemarker evidence in play.

“Delger said Asen [the bitemarker] went beyond his level of expertise and failed to identify how many people could fit into that same category of consistency. But Consiglio [the DA] countered there was no need to consider if someone in China or Johnstown would leave the same kind of bite impression.”

As usual, the prosecutor lacks clarity in expressing himself about scientific issues beyond non-sequitorial confusion. Proper exposition should have been, ” I don’t care if someone else’s teeth match the bitemark.” Of course, that misses an elemental point that the experts can’t pass their own self-designed proficiency testing.

Here’s is a snippet of information about what the Texas FS Commission launched this year regarding educating the judiciary (aka “gatekeepers”) about keeping these “flat-earth” advocates out of their court rooms. The US needs more of this beyond just Texas.

“[there have been] 2 separate trainings for judges in Texas explaining what the Commission decided regarding BM analysis and why.  I have not heard any disagreement with the rationale or the recommendations.  Most view our guidance as common sense.  The feedback we’ve had is they are grateful the Commission compiled and analyzed over 1,300 pages of material.  Because of course they want to do the best possible job fulfilling their duties as gatekeepers but don’t always have the time to conduct a review like this considering the weight of their dockets.”

About csidds

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

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