AP IMPACT: Bites derided as unreliable in court

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Associated Press

Posted on June 16, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Updated Sunday, Jun 16 at 7:33 AM

A judge's ruling expected this month in New York could help end the practice of using bite mark analysis in courtrooms.

There is no scientific proof that teeth can be matched definitively to a bite into human skin, and DNA has outstripped the method's usefulness in many cases. The FBI doesn't use it and the American Dental Association does not recognize it.

The Associated Press reviewed decades of court records, archives, news reports and filings by the Innocence Project in order to compile the most comprehensive count to date of those exonerated after being convicted or charged based on bite mark evidence.

The AP analysis found that at least two dozen men had been exonerated since 2000. Many had spent years in prison, including on death row.

A New York City judge overseeing a murder case is expected to decide whether bite mark analysis can be admitted as evidence.

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