“But it’s increasingly clear that to treat a bite mark like a fingerprint is misleading at best. Fourteen men have been exonerated — four from death row — after being convicted of crimes on the basis of bite mark analysis. In one case, a forensic dentist claimed that “it could be no one but Levon Brooks that bit this girl’s arm”; it later emerged that the wounds were not bite marks at all but rather places where crawfish and insects had nibbled the girl’s body after it had been tossed in a pond. In another case, a forensic odontologist testified at Robert Lee Stinson’s 1985 trial that there was “no margin for error” in his conclusion that Stinson had bitten the victim — even though the bite impression seemed to indicate that the biter had all his top teeth, and Stinson was missing a tooth. Stinson was exonerated in 2009 after more than 23 years in prison….”

Via Could a Bite Mark Catch a Killer? @ The Marshall Project.

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