Bite-Mark Analysis

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Sinking Their Teeth into It: Bite Mark Analysis in Forensic Investigations Since the early 1960s, forensic odontology has been an increasingly utilized field in criminal investigations and trial proceedings. One of the sciences used in this field of forensics is that of bite mark analysis. Bite mark analysis involves the comparison of bite marks one a victim with the suspect in question. Bite mark analysis has been used on many occasions as a key piece of evidence in trials, most notably during the trial of famed serial killer Ted Bundy. The scientists who support the use of bite mark analysis rely on two assumptions when defending the science. The first assumption is that the each human dentition is unique to the individual, similar to a fingerprint. The second assumption made states that these unique characteristics are transferred to the victim with enough clarity to identify (Holtkötter, Sheets, Bush & Bush, 2013). While this science has been long established as an accepted piece of evidence in American courts, some experts refute the merit of bite mark analysis. Not only do they argue the inaccuracy of the assumptions required, they also point to the cases in which DNA evidence disproved the bite mark analysis evidence used to convict. Method of Bite Mark Analysis Case Study: Ted Bundy Prior to discussing the…show more content…
These experts point out that distortion in the transfer of the dentition to the surface create enough of a difference to support doubt of a match. They also argue that the method by which dissimilarities are explained away introduces subjectivity into the evidence that should not be taken as fact in a court of law. Finally, many experts have relied on cases in which bite mark evidence was used to produce convictions that were later overturned when DNA evidence was

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