Home / ABFO Diplomates / Bitemark expert defends science – but “sure cant think of a way” to prove it.

Bitemark expert defends science – but “sure cant think of a way” to prove it.

One from the archives.  Lowell Levine is interviewed by CNN who are examining the errors in the Krone case. While Levine was not part of the Krone case, and admits errors were made, he defends the use of bitemarks in criminal cases.

He states that while he believes that they are not “junk science” he admits that he cannot think of a way to scientifically validate bitemarks.

This is crucial – the NAS and many others, including the Frye standard, require that science presented in Court is reliable and valid – and these two metrics should be proven – ideally in the peer reviewed literature.  Its not a simple matter to find papers that support either of these two requirements.

So – why do bitemarks continue to be accepted within Courts?  Perhaps its because of their plausibility – it makes sense to non-scientists and juries.  Perhaps it is confused with the science of dental identification?

One for further debate – although it should be noted that Frye hearings have been held in relation to bitemarks – and, as a result, bitemarks have still been accepted.

About Odont1

Odont1 is a seasoned forensic dentist, researcher and educator with an interest in progressing the science of the discipline while retaining those elements that are evidence based and useful to the judicial system at any level.

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