News 02.03.09

Another Bite Mark Conviction Overturned

Last week,

we reported here on the release of Robert Lee Stinson

from a Wisconsin prison after serving 23 years in prison for a murder DNA shows he didn’t commit. Stinson was convicted in part based on unreliable testimony claiming to match bite marks on the victim’s body to Stinson’s teeth. 

Radley Balko pointed out yesterday on Reason magazine’s Hit & Run blog that this case is another blow to the questionable science of bite mark analysis and particularly the work of forensic dentist L. Thomas Johnson, who testified at Stinson’s trial that bite marks on the victim’s body matched Stinson’s teeth. Johnson said he recently retested his conclusions in the case and would not change his findings. A panel of four experts gathered by the Wisconsin Innocence Project disagreed with him, saying the bite marks could not have come from Stinson.


Read Balko's post here

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Read more on Stinson’s case from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Read about wrongful convictions involving bite mark evidence here

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