A paradigm shift in the analysis of bitemarks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There have been major changes in the approach to and philosophy surrounding bite-mark analyses in recent years. This has resulted in a paradigm shift. Concentrating on three important areas, this review aims to describe the shift in the bite-mark paradigm following recent research studies, the increasing numbers of wrongful convictions that are associated at least in part with bite-mark analyses, and the publication of the United States National Academy of Sciences report entitled Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. The article provides an update on the current context and status of bite-mark analysis. Given the present combination of critical elements, a new level of caution that includes the use of a careful scientific approach to casework, increased reproducibility of conclusions by independent analysts, and hypothesis-driven research is needed. Bitemarks have the ability to exonerate the innocent, protect children from harmful caregivers, and convict the guilty. However, they also may be the enemy of natural justice. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
Volume201
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010