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Bite marks still admitted in key trial, despite low reliability


When someone is charged with a crime, the authorities working on the case will work to gather any and all evidence to try to secure a convictions. In alleged crimes involving more than one person, there might be evidence on one of the people. A case in a neighboring state was being watched closely, as many had hoped a judge would set precedent in throwing out bite mark evidence for lack of reliability.

Bite marks on a person are often used in cases of murder and sexual assault. However, these bite marks can be frequently analyzed incorrectly but carry a lot of weight in many trials.

The decision by the judge was that these bite marks could still be admitted as evidence at the trial of a man charged with murder. This decision means more future cases across the country could still involve evidence of bite marks.

According to a report, 24 men have been convicted because of bite-mark evidence in serious cases, but later exonerated since 2000. These people likely had served a long period of time in prison and could have served a life sentence if they weren't exonerated.

Because of the severity of these crimes, many people serve prison time, and if they are released, have difficulty finding employment and reintegrating into their communities. This is why a rigorous criminal defense in New Jersey can be important for people charged with sexual assault and other serious crimes. A conviction of these crimes can result in significant prison time and other serious consequences.

Source: Associated Press, "In Pivotal Test, N.Y. Judge OKs Bite Mark Evidence," Amanda Lee Myers and David B. Caruso, Sept. 6, 2013

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