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Is bitemark evidence scientific?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), forensic bitemark analysis has no scientific validity. This recent report is not the first time so-called bitemark evidence has been refuted. Scientists balked at the idea when the court system in the 1970s began to use said analysis as criminal evidence. In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences stated that using bitemark analysis in forensics had no basis in science even though the court system in the United States and West Virginia favored this fallacious technique consistently.

Reasons to support bite marks as evidence

Advocates reason that every person has a specific bite distinguishing it from all other bite marks. A second rationale is that human skin differs in ways that allow bite marks to look unique. The third explanation is that a trained analyst can recognize specific bite marks. The NIST rejected all three reasons enthusiastically when used as forensic criminal defense strategies.

Innocent people convicted because of false science

It is never justifiable when a judge or jury convicts an innocent person to prison for decades. However, the wide acceptance of bitemark analysis by the courts has resulted in upright individuals going to jail for crimes they never committed. Digging up old cases is costly and timely for public defenders. Consequently, something must change within the legal system. Judges should understand that this type of untrue forensic analysis is invalid when used to sentence people with crimes.

What to do about false forensic data

If you face criminal charges based on bitemark analysis, you must rely on the legal system to bring your case to justice. The scientific community is on your side if you are one of the rare individuals facing a conviction based on the pseudoscience of bitemark analysis.