For years, you may have enjoyed watching crime shows on television. You were especially interested when investigators used forensic science to track down a suspect. But then, police your son accused your son of a brutal assault he didn’t commit. He ended up going to jail as a result. You haven’t enjoyed crime TV nearly as much since, especially because investigators used bite mark evidence to convict your son.
You are convinced of your son’s innocence. You don’t like that he will now have a felony on his record. Yet, what about this bite mark evidence?
Debunking bite mark evidence
Well, that bite mark evidence likely wasn’t as reliable as many people think. As a whole, the science of analyzing bite marks now is considered junk science, even though some prosecutors still use it in court cases. In 2016, the Texas Forensic Science Commission advocated for ending bite mark testimony in criminal cases completely because it didn’t meet forensic standards. Upon analysis, often forensic scientists couldn’t even agree on if they were looking at a bite mark when reviewing case files.
Just in January 2021, a Mississippi judge dismissed a murder charge against a Black man who had spent more than two decades on death row over a conviction based on bite mark evidence. The dentist who testified about the bite mark evidence in Eddie Lee Howard’s conviction had been discredited. Plus, police never found Howard’s DNA at the crime scene. According to the Innocence Project, at least 26 other people have been wrongfully convicted based on bite mark evidence.
Seeking post-conviction relief
If your son or loved one was convicted based on junk science, such as bite mark evidence or criminal profiling, your loved one could be eligible for post-conviction relief. With post-conviction relief, your loved one could be released from jail, get a new trial and even have their criminal record expunged.
Sometimes, unwarranted convictions happen. Sometimes, scientific evidence comes under scrutiny years later. You can advocate for a full and complete defense for your loved one with post-conviction relief.