Contact Us Forensic Odontology Forensic odontology is the application of dental science to legal investigations, primarily involving the identification of the offender by comparing dental records to a bite mark left on the victim or at the scene, or identification of human remains based on dental records. Criminals have been known to leave bite mark impressions at the crime scene, whether it be in food, chewing gum or, more commonly, on the victim. When a bite mark is discovered, numerous steps should be taken. Once the mark has been sufficiently photographed, a saliva sample is taken from the area for potential DNA evidence. Casts or moulds can then be made.
|Published (Last):||12 April 2011|
|PDF File Size:||12.27 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||5.51 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The case studies of Levon Brooks, Kennedy Brewer, and Keith Harward explore the role forensic sciences play in the criminal justice system. In all three cases, bite mark evidence that is awarded such assertiveness and credibility resulted in these three men wrongfully spending a total of over 65 years in prison.
The Innocence Project showcases its work against wrongful convictions using DNA analysis and policy advocacy. On Jan. Potential witness Ashley Smith, sister of Courtney Smith, was five years old at the time of the incident and was sleeping in the same bed as Courtney on the night of September Innocence Project Attorney Vanessa Potkin later explains that the entire interview with Ashley was never provided to the jury. As a result of a five-year-old witness and forensic expert testimonies, Levon Brooks was given a life sentence for the murder of Courtney.
Four months after Levon had been convicted for the murder of the three-year-old girl, a second three-year-old girl went missing in the same Noxubee community. As a result of a lack of crime-scene evidence, Kennedy Brewer became the main suspect after it was determined that he was home with Christine without the presence of her mother within the window of the child abduction. Christine was later found deceased in a nearby creek. The young girl had been raped and murdered.
Upon further medical evaluations conducted by Dr. Steven Hayne and Dr. Once more, bite mark evidence led to the accusation and arrest of Kennedy Brewer for the murder of Christine Jackson. Forensic odontologist, Michael West, again testified to the jury regarding the alleged bite marks. Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, co-founders of the Innocence Project, explain how the Innocence Project grew out of the need to use DNA as evidence of innocence in wrongful convictions.
Entomology research experiments provided an additional explanation for the marks on Christine as being possible crawfish bitemarks. Episode 2 continues by giving a darker view of the life of incarcerated individuals in Mississippi. Further investigation into the murder cases of Courtney Smith and Christine Jackson led to the discovery of a possible suspect, Justin Albert Johnson, who had a previous record of multiple home invasion assaults in the same community.
According to Sheriff investigator Eichelberger, Johnson had been a suspect in both cases but further investigation on him was abandoned as Brooks and Brewer became the main suspects of their cases. In , during videotaped interviews, Johnson confessed to both murders of Christine Jackson and Courtney Smith. However, Johnson denied ever biting either girl. Johnson was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. The surprising confession lacking any evidence of bites on either victim led to the questioning of the validity of the analysis Dr.
Michael West had testified to in both murder trials. Did I say he killed her? Did I testify he raped her? Do I believe as a death investigator he played a significant part in her death? The documentary explores the critique of the Innocence Project on the scientific academia by arguing that once scientists are placed on pedestals for introducing new scientific research, juries often believe anything scientific experts say. Chris Fabricant, Innocence Project Attorney, urges the dependence of the National Academy of Science Report on the State of Forensics as it states that the fundamental principles of science are not present in dozens of so-called forensic sciences, including bite mark and bloodstain pattern analysis.
Fabricant publicly discussed his lack of trust in bite mark evidence during an interview for a podcast in which Dr. Souviron was present. Their efforts are focused on proving how unreliable science can be. The acceptance of forensic odontology evidence is worldwide, however, the ABFO American Board of Forensic Odontology has concluded that there are wide discrepancies in agreements between scholars of what constitutes bite marks.
This acknowledges the poor validity of expert odontology testimony. Keith Harward, a third individual to have been convicted of murder due to bite mark evidence, was introduced in the third episode. On Sept. In addition to the murder of her husband, Teresa Perron was left with bite marks covering her legs from her ankles to her thighs.
Keith Harward, being a Navy soldier, was reported to the police by his partner for biting her shoulder during a physical altercation. Based on the bite evidence, investigators connected this incident to the murder and assault of the Perrons.
Forensic dentist of New York, Dr. Due to the testimony of Dr. In December of , the Innocence Project finally tested DNA evidence from the crime scene that had been sitting during the 31 years Keith had been in prison. In addition, the DNA proved to be a match for Jerry Crotty, another sailor who was present in Virginia at the time of the murder and assault. On April 8, , Keith Harward was released from prison and began his fight against the legislation that leads to wrongful convictions with his support of a bill that would challenge flawed forensic science admissibility.
The third episode of the first part of the series concluded with follow-ups on the officials and legislatures that were involved in the wrongful convictions of the three men. In , DA Forrest Allgood was voted out of office after 26 years. His replacement, Scott Colom, advocates for the investigations of wrongful convictions. Souviron amended his expert testimony that led to the conviction of Gary Cifizzari in and Gary was released from prison after 35 years. As of , all 50 states continue to allow admissibility of bite mark evidence.
Half of all Innocence Project cases involve misapplied and flawed sciences. Despite the journey of Levon Brooks, Kennedy Brewer, and Keith Harward through the criminal justice system, the first three episodes devoted valuable time to the humanity of each individual. Levon had the opportunity to share his passion for art with the world, a passion that allowed him to cope with the pain he suffered during his 16 years in prison.
Cancer did not allow Levon to see the production of a documentary that proved to the world his innocence. Now, the entire world can enjoy his art and the justice system can fight in his and the names of many others against the wrongful convictions that plague the criminal justice system.
Keith Harward, who spent 33 years stripped of his freedom, continues to fight for the freedom of others through policy advocacy and strives to enjoy his rightly deserved freedom traveling the world.
The case studies of Levon Brooks, Kennedy Brewer, and Keith Harward explore the role forensic sciences play in the criminal justice system. In all three cases, bite mark evidence that is awarded such assertiveness and credibility resulted in these three men wrongfully spending a total of over 65 years in prison. The Innocence Project showcases its work against wrongful convictions using DNA analysis and policy advocacy. On Jan. Potential witness Ashley Smith, sister of Courtney Smith, was five years old at the time of the incident and was sleeping in the same bed as Courtney on the night of September
Forensic odontology, part 4. Human bite marks
Increases understanding of bite mark analysis. Underlines the importance of appropriate evidence collection, management, preservation, analysis and interpretation. Highlights the benefit of advancements in digital technology. Emphasises the importance of exercising caution with opinions and conclusions. Abstract The aim of this paper is to give a brief overview of bite mark analysis: its usefulness and limitations.
About Bite Mark Evidence – Forensic Odontology
Sources Bite Marks In life or death situations, teeth are often used as a weapon. The teeth are part of our natural arsenal. There is no current agreement between odontologists about the uniqueness of the dentition or how the skin behaves while being bitten. This is caused when your canines force their way into your dental arch. This pattern can then be compared to either dental records or other bite marks. The degree of detail on the bitten surface varies from case to case. In cases where there is plenty of details, it may be possible to identify the biter and exclude all other suspects.
Current trends in forensic odontology
It also hones in on the flawed evidence that put them behind bars in the first place. Eighteen months later, in , Jackson was found dead in eerily similar circumstances. She too was taken from her home, also in Noxubee, as she slept before being sexually assaulted and dumped in a creek. Each girl had what authorities believed were bite marks on their bodies. Michael West in in Columbia, Miss. Later, he attended the American Academy of Forensic Science.