Statistical Analysis of Forensic Odontologist Involvement In
Cases of Wrongful Bite Mark Convictions and Indictments
The misapplication of forensic sciences is a leading contributing factor to
wrongful conviction,29 and of the unvalidated techniques that have contributed to
wrongful convictions and indictments later overturned through DNA testing, bite mark
comparison poses an acute threat to the reliability and fairness of the criminal justice
system. Of the 29 known wrongful convictions and indictments secured through the use
of bite mark comparison evidence, the forensic dentists who performed the comparisons
are known in all but two cases.
Among those 27 cases with available data, a total of 21
dentists offered bite mark comparison opinions or testimony. Nearly 86%, or 18, of
those dentists were Diplomates of the American Board of Forensic Odontology at the
time of their relevant casework.
The raw data is presented below in Chart 1;
ABFO Diplomates are highlighted in yellow. A brief statistical summary is offered in Chart 2.