FORENSIC TESTIMONY: The “bad apple” history of bitemark cases: FORENSIC SCIENCE

This I know, skin is a palpable organ. Paint your incisal edges with lipstick, blot it, and bite into a slightly underfilled water balloon. You, yourself , could never repeat that patterned “injury” in a person responding to pain.

FORENSICS and LAW in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends

Who are the “bad apples” bite mark experts consider to be the cause of the bad press about their results in court? The answer may surprise you.

Pattern matching in forensic science is a major component in criminal investigations. Unfortunately, bite mark (forensic odontology) matching is the least reliable in its use to convict criminals. 24 innocent men wrongfully convicted comprise the core proof. AP Impact

Ballistics, tire tread, shoe print, fingerprints, and tool mark experts seldom, if ever, disagree in court. Dentists presenting bite evidence in court literally never agree. In fact, the cases where only a prosecution dentist testifies are prone to appellate remand or reversal if the court does not allow (usually a monetary decision) the defense to retain their own dentist to review and testify in rebuttal. Reversals also have occurred when defense attorneys have not requested their own bite mark expert.

The prosecutorial effect of…

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