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Wrongful Convictions

BBC Exposes expert witnesses for hire – can you buy justice?

The BBCs leading documentary programme, Panorama, has undertaken an expose of expert witnesses in the UK. Looking at document examiners, a wildlife expert and a CCTV specialist they undertook secret filming of each. In every case the reporter indicates their guilt and yet the experts agree to prepare reports that …

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DNA From Teeth – The Lynn Breedan Story

This is a fascinating case told in the Medical Detectives series.  The case involves identification from teeth in two ways – the first, the identification of the victim from their dental records (using the presence of a mesiodens to assist) and secondly, the identification of the potential suspect – by …

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Documentary: Northwestern journalism investigation led to wrongful conviction

A documentary released this summer argues an investigation led by a Northwestern journalism class in 1999 led to the wrongful release of a convicted killer. “A Murder in the Park” chronicles the twists and turns of one of the state’s most infamous criminal sagas, in which a man on death row …

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Mike West fires final bullet into bitemark science…

Those reading this current news item must have been struck by the paradox; it was Mike West that focussed so much attention on bitemarks and now, finally, he has admitted that they are not safe for use in Courts. While many would disagree with him, this is none the less …

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Another BM case hits the appeal courts

When used in expert testimony at a criminal trial, terms like “incisal edge” and “the diastema of the two teeth” sound convincingly scientific. Oral surgeon Dr. Curtis Mertz — who had trained at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed Hospital and was certified by the American Board …

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Eddie Lee Howard – A West BM Case

The expert whose bite-mark evidence led a jury to put Eddie Lee Howard Jr. on Mississippi’s death row now believes such evidence should be tossed. “I no longer believe in bite-mark analysis,” forensic odontologist Michael West of Hattiesburg testified in a 2012 deposition. “I don’t think it should be used …

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