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Is bite mark evidence credible?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Forensic evidence often serves as the component that eliminates reasonable doubt in a jury’s eyes. In some instances, forensic evidence may exonerate someone falsely accused of a crime. DNA evidence might reveal whether someone did or did not commit a crime. Bite marks may do the same, although “bite evidence” could sometimes be questionable. A Pennsylvania prosecutor might use flawed bite mark evidence to build a case against an innocent person.

Issues with bite mark evidence

Bite mark evidence is not always reliable, and some cases involved identifying marks on a body as being bite marks when they weren’t. Convictions resulting from flawed and faulty expert testimony are tragic outcomes, as innocent persons might face lengthy prison sentences and even the death penalty.

Many scientists denounce the use of bite-mark evidence and point out its unreliability. Six states addressed “change in science” statutes based on problems with bite marks as evidence. However, Pennsylvania is not one of those states.

Challenging the forensic evidence

A criminal law attorney may call expert witnesses that refute the value and validity of bite marks. If the court finds the forensic evidence is faulty, the evidence could be suppressed. A jury never hears about suppressed evidence, meaning the prosecutor may no longer be able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A case may collapse, and the jury might never convict the accused. The prosecutor might drop the case, or the judge could dismiss the charges.

Although someone might end up convicted due to weak, improper evidence, appealing the conviction may be possible. If the appeals court throws out false forensic evidence, a defendant could see justice served and the conviction overturned.