Forensics: Bitemarks take another hit in 2022. Why Is Bad Science Allowed in the Courtroom? | Psychology Today

A new report finds that a well-known forensic technique is unscientific.
— Read on

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, Bad Forensic Science, Bite Marks, Brown shooting evidence, costs of wrongful convictions, Crime lab scandal, Exoneration costs, forensic evidence exaggeration, forensic fraud, Forensic Science Bias, forensic science misconduct, junk forensic science. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Forensics: Bitemarks take another hit in 2022. Why Is Bad Science Allowed in the Courtroom? | Psychology Today

  1. John Lentini says:

    I think the article misses the mark with respect to why courts allow junk science into evidence. Sure, there is a “need for closure” in all cases of violent crime, but I think there are reasons that are more compelling for judges. One is mendacity on the part of the prosecutors, like Melissa Mourges in New York, who pulled a phrase out of context from the NAS report to try to mislead the court into believing that real scientists supported the procedure. Prosecutors are immune from consequences when they lie to courts in almost all cases. I see such mendacity all the time in arson cases, where win-at-all-costs prosecutors try to use unconfirmed canine alerts as evidence of the use of an ignitable liquid.

    The other big issue is precedent. If one judge lets in junk science, another judge then feels free to do the same, especially if the case has been appealed and the appeals court bought into the junk. This is sadly true even in bitemark cases where the science has been shown to be bogus and the defendant was ultimately exonerated using DNA or other persuasive forensics, like the Eddie Lee Howard and Kennedy Brewer cases from Mississippi.

    There should be a rule that if the precedential case being cited has resulted in an overturned conviction and/or an exoneration, it should not be allowed to be cited, except as a reason to keep the junk out.

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