Science

Judge Denies Relief to Pennsylvania Man Convicted on Bogus Bite Mark Testimony

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In April 2009 I blogged about the case of John Kunco, a Pennsylvania man convicted of a rape in 1992 based mostly on the testimony of a bite mark expert. The Innocence Project asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to grant Kunco a new trial, based mostly on the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on forensic evidence that found no scientific evidence to support the proposition that it's possible to trace bite marks in human skin to one person to the exclusion of all others.

A quick summary from my post last year:

Two forensic odonotologists, or bite mark experts, named Michael N. Sobel and Thomas J. David testified that they were able to use ultraviolet light to isolate and photograph the woman's wounds. Based on that photograph they were able to match the wounds to Kunco's teeth, to the exclusion of anyone else. Their testimony grows more absurd when you consider that the photograph was taken five months after the rape, after the wounds had mostly healed.

Sobel and David wrote an article about their analysis in the Kunco case for a 1994 edition of the Journal of Forensic Sciences. In that article, they explain that "the technique used followed the recommendations developed by other odontologists." One of the two footnotes to that sentence points to an article written by none other than . . . now-disgraced Mississippi bite mark expert, Dr. Michael West.

There's no question that bite mark testimony was critical to securing Kunco's conviction. The excellent new Bite Mark Evidence blog notes this passage from the prosecutor's closing argument:

[T]here's no way, no way on this earth, for Mr. Kunco to explain how his tooth marks got on Donna Seaman's shoulder unless you accept the fact that he's the one who attacked and brutalized Mrs. Seaman. That's the only explanation, ladies and gentlemen. That's why the evidence is better than fingerprints or hair samples … [T]he bite mark on Danna Seaman's shoulder was as good as a fingerprint. And I submit to you it was that, ladies and gentlemen, for all intents and purposes. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd submit to you that John Kunco should have just signed his name on Donna Seaman's back, because the bite mark on Donna Seaman's shoulder belongs to John Kunco.

There was no other physical evidence linking Kunco to the crime scene.

I missed the decision when it came out, but last October Pennsylvania Jude Rita Donovan Hathaway refused Kunco's petition for a new trial. Hathaway acknowledged the limitations of bite mark testimony, and that the reliability of said testimony has been called into question (to put it mildly). So why did she deny Kunco relief? 

To get a new trial post-conviction, you have to show that you've discovered new evidence that could not have been discovered at the time of trial, and that given the new evidence, no reasonable juror would convict you. But in Pennsylvania, you also need to file your petition within one year of discovering the new evidence.

Kunco did file his petition within one year of the release of the NAS report. But Hathaway ruled that the research upon which the NAS report was based was published in other sources much earlier. Kunco, she ruled, should have filed within a year of the publication of that research. In other words, the expert testimony used to convict Kunco may well have been fraudulent, but Hathaway is going to keep him in prison anyway, basically on a technicality (this is similar to what's happening in the Eddie Lee Howard case).

The NAS report was a synthesis of research across nearly every forensic discipline. It was a landmark report, commissioned by Congress in response to the rash of DNA exonerations. The cruel conundrum here is that when other people convicted on bite mark testimony have filed for relief and cited the publication of an article in a narrowly-read scientific journal (also like Eddie Lee Howard in Mississippi), they've been denied on the argument that a peer-reviewed article here and there isn't enough of a scientific consensus to overturn a jury verdict, especially if you already challenged the state's bite mark expert at trial. If Kunco had filed shortly after that first journal article disputing bite mark evidence was published, and had he lost, in most states he would then be barred from making additional post-conviction claims on the same topic, even if more articles then came out showing a consensus that he was right.

Hathaway then goes on to misstate the findings of the NAS report. She writes:

The [NAS] Report does not, however, conclude that the use of bitemark analysis and comparison has lost general acceptance in the scientific community of forensic odontology. Rather, it specifically acknowledges that "the majority of forensic odontologists are satisfied that bite marks can demonstrate sufficient detail for positive identification."

Two problems here. First, Hathaway is only quoting the first part of that sentence. Second, she has also taken the entire sentence out of context. Here's the complete sentence, in proper context:

Although the majority of forensic odontologists are satisfied that bite marks can demonstrate sufficient detail for positive identification, no scientific studies support this assessment, and no large population studies have been conducted. In numerous instances, experts diverge widely in their evaluations of the same bite mark evidence, which has led to questioning of the value and scientific objectivity of such evidence.

Bite mark testimony has been criticized basically on the same grounds as testimony by questioned document examiners and microscopic hair examiners. The committee received no evidence of an existing scientific basis for identifying an individual to the exclusion of all others. 

Leaves quite a different impression, doesn't it? The disconnect here is that the NAS report is criticizing the entire field of forensic odontology. It isn't surprising that a majority of forensic odontologists, many of whom have given bite mark-matching testimony themselves, would think that bite mark matching is legitimate science. It's only slightly less absurd than saying that palm reading is a legitimate science because a majority of clairvoyants, some of whom are palm readers, say so. (I use the word slightly here because there are legitimate areas of forensic odontology, such as using dental records to identify human remains.)

Hathaway is also misleading here:

Even the defendants' experts, in their remarkably uniform affidavits, state: "the NAS Report did not invalidate bite mark identification entirely," nor did it report that bite mark identification fell into the realm of junk science" . . . 

I guess that's true. The NAS report did not specifically use the phrase junk science. It's also true that the report didn't "invalidate bite mark identification entirely." Instead, the report concluded that with more research, bite mark identification might someday be useful as an investigative tool, and, in limited circumstances, might have some value in excluding suspects. (Such as if there's a fresh, easily identified human bite mark on the body, and the chief suspect has no teeth.) But as noted above, the report was decisive in its conclusion about the use of bite mark analysis to identify one suspect to the exclusion of all others: It simply isn't backed by any serious science. And this is exactly how bite mark evidence was used in Kunco's case.

One other thing. As noted, the expert witnesses in Kunco's case used a method of analysis used by disgraced Mississippi bite mark specialist Michael West. West has been cast out from the forensic odontology community. So even within the already-questionable field of bite mark matching, West and his methods are considered quackery.

Hathaway's ruling here is appalling, as is the state's willingness to keep a man in prison based on testimony we now know to be utterly unsupported by science. Judges and prosecutors with any sense of justice or shame ought to be tripping over themselves to give all of these bite mark cases a thorough review. Instead, they're throwing up procedural and technical roadblocks to prevent the convicted from getting a fair trial untainted by crappy science.

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  1. "Judges and prosecutors with any sense of justice or shame..."

    Ah. Here's your problem.

  2. Yeah, shaving off the "Although" at the beginning of that adverbial clause, and the statement it modifies, is a pretty egregious case of willful misquoting.

    Judge Hathaway (or Jude Hathaway as RB put it) probably just doesn't want her electoral opponents to be sending out fliers accusing her of coddling rapists and murderers next year.

    Kunco did file his petition within one year of the release of the NAS report. But Hathaway ruled that the research upon which the NAS report was based was published in other sources much earlier.

    Now this makes no sense. In most cases, the exonerating evidence exists during the original trial, it's just a matter of the defense not knowing about it and/or not being able to find it. So by this standard, any claim filed more than a year after the original trial is invalid.

    1. We've known about teeth for a long time, therefore all appeals featuring teeth are invalid.

  3. Like a fella once scrawled,
    Ain't justice just a kick in the balls.

    1. It's not even funny.

      This case is completely representative of government refusal to admit error, no matter what it costs its victim.

      And based on the day I had today in court, it is safe to say that the Fourth Amendment does not mean a goddamned thing. Has no one ever heard of writs of assistance?

  4. Does it surprise anyone that a judge--who exists within the "justice" system"--will protect the reputation of elements of that system? That she wouldn't want to let an innocent man go free, because setting such a precedent might stress that system greatly?

    Judges, prosecutors, and cops are merely a part of the bureaucracy. Unfortunately, a part of the bureaucracy that can imprison or kill people; but still bureaucracy, with all the horrible shit that comes along with it.

    1. The level of political jostling among the Judicial branch is something that seems to getting worse lately.

      I wrestle with whether or not judges should be appointed or elected since the political process is so easily influenced by "who you know" when it comes to the Judicial election process. A regular attorney with all the right things on the resume running for a seat on the bench has zero chance against an incumbent with political connections, and this seems to defeat the point of having a judge in the first place.

      1. The three branches of government are merging into one. Separation of powers my ass.

        1. Why do you hate brutal efficiency?

    2. I refuse to use the term "justice" anymore. It is the legal system. Justice doesn't have anything to with it.

      Of course judges are going to do what they can to protect the system. Who would want to admit that the job that they've been for 30 is just a bunch of jacking off?

      1. That's why I put "justice" in quotes. And really, it's just a jobs program for lawyers and cops and prison guards. That's how demented it's become.

      2. One thing that can be said about our "justice" system is that it is, indeed, a system.

      3. I'd call it the court system because law is not its primary concern.

        1. law *is*. the law =/= justice, though. it's not a search for the truth. that's true when a defense attorney obfuscates truth (which they will always try to do when the evidence goes against them) and also true when prosecution does it

          the difference is it's entirely ethical for a defense attorney to try to obfuscate the facts. it is not ethical for the prosecutor to try to do that.

          1. "that's true when a defense attorney obfuscates truth (which they will always try to do when the evidence goes against them)"

            Factually inaccurate and completely uncalled for.

            That's akin to saying all cops obfuscate the truth the moment overreaching during a stop -- e.g. -- is brought to their attention.

            Neither proposition is rational.

            1. it is completely accurate and thus completely called for. it's the JOB of the defense attorney, within the bounds of the rules to give a jealous defense. that means when the facts go against your client, you try to muddle them as much as possible. that's not an indictment of defense attorneys. it's what they are supposed to do

              any honest defense attorney will admit that. god knows dershowitz has.

              the jobs of the defense and prosecutor are different. a prosecutor cannot ethically charge anybody if they do not believe they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

              however, a defense attorney, even if he believes his client is guilty as fuck must zealously defend him. he can't knowingly put on perjured testimony, but he most definitely can and SHOULD throw up whatever smokescreeens he can

              that's their job

              a prosecutor must also turn over exculpatory evidence. a defense attorney need not turn over incriminatory evidence

              do you get it? the jobs are different

              1. ugh. ZEALOUS defense, not "jealous" defense lol

                1. The only thing that is clear here is that you understand nothing about defense work.

                  It has invariably been the case that I have scrupulously reflected the contents of appellate records, only to have the prosecution misrepresent or misstate them.
                  And every time, I correct the prosecution and point to the pages in the record that reflect the clear misstatements.

                  And you know what: I literally had one guy, after the court reamed him for misrepresenting evidence, claim he was just "playing the hand he was dealt."

                  Lying is not playing the hand one is dealt; it is concocting cards.

                  Does every cop caught overreaching during a stop lie too? Their job is to make the seizure stick, and lying is often necessary to do that.

                  On your logic, I guess that they're all lying because it's their "JOB?"

                  You are better off being realistic about what counsel are and are not. Our job is to insist on necessary constitutional limits on government power, and you are best advised to be honest about that. When you overreach, you overreach, and it is our job to insist that police power is not boundless, or subject only to personal whim.

                  And by the way, if this matters at all to you: I used to work as a prosecutor too. It's easy to slime defenders. Is it so easy for you to slime one of the people who used to make the state's cases too?

                  1. what's clear is that you let your bias color your understanding. there are fundamental differences in what they are supposed to, in the very nature of the jobs. they are not merely analogs, but on different sides.

                    if you choose to ignore that... fine

                    the reality is exactly as i said it, and it's something that many, if not most HONEST defense attorneys readily admit

                    it was not, as you inferred, a CRITICISM of defense attorneys. it was simply a statement of fact as to what they are supposed to do.

    3. one nitpick. we don't know if this guy is an innocent man. what we do know is that there was nowhere near enough evidence to convict him if the bite mark evidence (which is bogus) is not used.

      he hasn't been exonerated. proof of his guilt has been refuted. those are not the same things.

      he MAY in fact be innocent, but referencing him as an "innocent man" (presumptions of innocence aside) is a bit much.

      of COURSE he should be freed, though.

      the innocence project wants a new trial for him. *if* the state has sufficient REAL evidence to charge, then that's something they could do

      1. "he MAY in fact be innocent, but referencing him as an "innocent man" (presumptions of innocence aside) is a bit much."

        That's a pretty big "aside," don't you think?

        1. not really. the presumption of innocence applies to the finder of fact (usually a jury).

          it doesn't therefore follow that he is or isn't innocent. i frankly have no idea whether he is guilty or innocent.

          that's tangential to the point which is that he was convicted based on bogus "expert witness" testimony and thus the conviction should be vacated.

          it is entirely possible to be innocent and to be convicted, fwiw, even given completely honest and diligent prosecutors and defense

          in brief, whether or not a person is innocent is tangential to the issue that they are presumed innocent until and unless convicted

          my point stands. the prior poster referred to this as a case of an innocent man. it's hardly clear he's innocent (contrast with the duke case where it was clear as hell). that's why the innocence project is calling for a new trial ABSENT the bogus dental stuff

          he may or may not be innocent.

          1. No: The presumption of innocence applies to all facets of preconviction proceedings.

            As a matter of law.

            1. and again, you still don't get it. it is as i said - a presumption. it is not a reality. iow, saying that the guy is clearly innocent or has been proven innocent is not established

              what is established is that he was wrongly convicted.

              those are two entirely different things

              he may or may not BE innocent, but that's totally tangential to the issues here. a conviction based on bogus "expert" testimony

  5. BAAAAAALKO PUNCH!

  6. Sounds like the court bit off more than they could chew.

  7. Thread Jack for "The Truth":

    For the past eight years, Liu Zhijun was one of the most influential people in China. As minister of railways, Liu ran China's $300 billion high-speed rail project. U.S., European and Japanese contractors jostled for a piece of the business while foreign journalists gushed over China's latest high-tech marvel.

    Today, Liu Zhijun is ruined, and his high-speed rail project is in trouble. On Feb. 25, he was fired for "severe violations of discipline"?code for embezzling tens of millions of dollars. Seems his ministry has run up $271 billion in debt?roughly five times the level that bankrupted General Motors. But ticket sales can't cover debt service that will total $27.7 billion in 2011 alone. Safety concerns also are cropping up.

    Faced with a financial and public relations disaster, China put the brakes on Liu's program. On April 13, the government cut bullet-train speeds 30 mph to improve safety, energy efficiency and affordability. The Railway Ministry's tangled finances are being audited. Construction plans, too, are being reviewed.

    Liu's legacy, in short, is a system that could drain China's economic resources for years. So much for the grand project that Thomas Friedman of the New York Times likened to a "moon shot" and that President Obama held up as a model for the United States.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    1. Brilliant. Thanks for posting.

    2. Didnt reason post this earlier today?

      1. I think it was yesterday, actually.

  8. Sadly, it appears the pace of nutsack punches is increasing. I live in fear of the daily punch.

    1. That would be an awesome blog name, though.

      1. "Nutsack Punches" or "The Daily Punch"?

  9. Holy crap! That's so infuriating that I can't finish it. I made it to the "but Hathaway is going to keep him in prison anyway, basically on a technicality" line and had to quit. I'll be back later... I gotta go do something productive to clear my head...

    Maybe she can hang out with the "perhaps he's (West) been wrong many times before" Mississippi Supreme court and trade war stories...

    1. Bite me.

  10. Their testimony grows more absurd when you consider that the photograph was taken five months after the rape, after the wounds had mostly healed.

    Of course they can identify people based on two-dimensional images of healed wounds.

    That is why they are called EXPERTS.

    1. TOP. MEN.

  11. "Kunco had worked as maintenance man at the apartment where his 55-year-old accuser lived. During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that he broke into her home on Dec. 16, 1990, blindfolded her with her own underwear, shocked her with a frayed electrical cord, raped her, then forced her to perform painful and degrading sexual acts.

    The victim was able to identify Kunco by virtue of a recognizable lisp."

    Really, you must have better cases to work up a lather about.

    1. This is exactly the sort of case that allows bad laws/procedures to get promulgated. Since "everyone knows who did it" they are able to rationalize cooking up fake evidence in order to ensure a conviction. This is precisely why forensic testing needs to be blinded.

      There is zero chance that a 5 month old bite mark only visible by UV illumination could be used to positively identify one and only one person as the biter. This kind of ability would likely win you the Randi million dollar challenge. The fact that they "knew" who did it is the only factor in determining the test results.

      The appeals court judge tips her hand on this front: "Even the defendants' experts, in their remarkably uniform affidavits," --so she's convinced that the defense experts are paid shills and are lying. When the experts for the defense agree, it is evidence of dishonesty. When the experts for the state agree, it is evidence that the state is right.

      Regardless of who raped this lady, the state cannot be allowed to manufacture fake evidence in order to win convictions. Even if it means a guilty man walks. Of course if the lady in question was my daughter, he might do well to walk very quickly to another state - far, far away.

      1. nice post.

  12. In a sane and just world, Michael N. Sobel and Thomas J. David would be tied naked onto a wooden board and left to be exposed to the sun. They would have a small wound made on their inner thigh, and then have the wound filled with young maggots and then have the gash stitched together.

    As the maggots ate them from the inside, they would be forced fed honey and milk, causing them to experience diarrhea...attracting even more insects to lay their eggs in their soiled, filthy flesh.

    Eventually, they would die from dehydration or shock.

    1. Hey, you and Kunco seem to have something in common. Maybe you can join him when he gets out and work on Sobel and David.

      1. BLOODTHIRSTY LAW AND ORDER FETISHIST SMASH! ARRGGGGHHHH!

        1. No, Papu Smash.

  13. Really, you must have better cases to work up a lather about.

    You're quoting from a news article's summary of the case which was taken from other summaries of the case.

    No one disputes those things were done to the victim. From what I've read of the case, the lisp and the bite mark are the only evidence that Kunco is the one who did them.

    Maybe the lisp alone is enough. I don't know the details. But the judge's ruling on the bite mark evidence was wrong.

    1. I truly mean that there has to be better cases to investigate and write about. I am with you on most of your nut punches. This just doesn't even brush my nuts. By the way, I actually copied the quote from one of the many Innocence Project pages I found. They may have copied it from a news article.

      1. This just doesn't even brush my nuts.

        Steroid abuse?

      2. Ernesto Miranda was actually guilty of the crime that led to Miranda v. Arizona. He was retried after the Supreme Court set aside his conviction and again found guilty. He spent the rest of his life in and out of prison and died in a gambling dispute.

        Unfortunately, you don't often get cases where "model citizens" have been wrongly accused. You have to work with the cases that exist, and when violations of a person's rights occur, you should challenge them, even if you feel at heart that the person really is guilty.

        The establishment of a bad precedent will hurt the wrongly accused too.

        1. i agree. note also we often get cases where the "victims" are as "suspect' as the defendants. we don't get to choose them either.

  14. There's a lot more here than just bite mark evidence and "timing of appeals". They are also ruling that he waived the right to question the bite mark evidence when he allowed the dental impressions (without access to counsel). They rule that he had no right to counsel as they gathered evidence against him, no right to counsel before they took dental molds, and in allowing the dental molds he foreclosed large areas of potential defense, including the right to question the bite mark evidence.

    It appears that there is also some question as to the methods used to identify his speech - but it wasn't all that clear as to what the question was. I assumed that she knew the guy and recognized his voice, but the decision calls this assumption on my part in to question.

    The court writes:
    "This court has already held that the technique used by the Commonwealth's experts is scientifically recognized. This, the evidence relied upon by Appellant would be used solely to impeach the credibility of Commonwealth experts, Doctos David and Sobel, and does not constitute after=discovered evidence. As such, Appellant's claim fails".

    In other words, we've already decided that palm-reading is a valid technique. You cannot use studies that show that palm-reading is invalid to question the credibility of the palm-reader. Wow.

  15. Aha.

    Prior to her legal career, Judge Hathaway was an elementary school teacher at Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville, Westmoreland County. Her experiences as a teacher and a mother fostered an awareness of issues facing children in our society, and sparked an interest in becoming an advocate for children and other victims of crime. The desire to better serve the needs of abused children prompted her to enroll in law school, and she graduated from Duquesne University Law School in 1988. Judge Hathaway then worked for ten years as a Westmoreland County prosecutor, representing the citizens of Westmoreland County in all types of criminal matters, from drug crimes to murder. In her capacity as an Assistant District Attorney, Judge Hathaway was the Supervisor of the Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Unit as well as Chief Trial Attorney. She officially assumed her duties as a Judge in January 1998.

    She also happens to be the judge in the trial for the torture-murder of Jennifer Daugherty, our current local celebration of the macabre.

  16. There's a point of law here that I just don't understand. The defendant in this case questioned the bite evidence. He put up an expert that said it was invalid. The court ruled against him at trial because "the state expert's CV is unassailed".

    No Frye hearing was demanded by his counsel at the time, although they did question the validity of the evidence. Subsequently the entire field has come into serious question. Particularly the assertion of the experts that they can positively identify a person by a bite mark on another person's skin.

    But according to these rulings, it seems that the answer is "tough luck". He didn't appeal the bite mark evidence based on reliability soon enough, because it had come into question years earlier - so the weight of the National Academy of Sciences is not "new evidence".

    What if you had held a Frye hearing? Let's say it was a DNA evidence hearing held 30 years ago and the court ruled that the science was inconclusive. Is it still too late to put forward evidence as to the reliability of DNA, now that it is universally accepted? This seems to be the court's logic. The fact that the court is wrong on the facts is apparently not grounds for appeal.

    They rely heavily upon arbitrary deadlines that seem laughably short. The defendant is loudly notified in large font that he has 30 days to appeal this ruling. The case pivots on the fact that he had only 60 days to file an appeal based on new evidence. It routinely takes much, much longer than this to digest information. Heck, the court took much longer than 30 days to digest the information presented and render a decision. But somehow a poor defendant who has no legal training is supposed to navigate all of this information and properly weigh all of his potential legal avenues in a month or two and get it all right the first time - even if he is 100% innocent.

    This case doesn't pivot on his innocence, but on the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. They clearly used the 100% false impression of scientific certainty given by their bite mark experts to reach that "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in this case.

    But what of the systemic issue? It appears that the legal system is insisting that it has a set of rules and deadlines, and if you lose on one of those at the wrong time, well too bad. You can spend the rest of your life in jail. It is better that a thousand innocent men rot in jail than one court recognize a flaw in the system.

    That's exactly what we have here. If this judge had ruled that a new report on the reliability of a field of forensics were to constitute new evidence, then every case where that type of evidence had ever been used could be reopened. Since this is a fundamental threat to the legal system, it just can't be allowed.

    What would happen if roadside drug tests were to be found unreliable? By the standards of this defense team, all of the evidence that was gathered using these tests could be retroactively suppressed. That would constitute tens of thousands of cases being retried, most without any evidence to rely upon. The state clearly cannot allow something this devastating to its power. So the state will rule on narrow procedural grounds that you have no right to appeal based on "the truth". Freedom is protected for the majority by your incarceration - guilty or not.

  17. I feel comfortable stating the fact that forensic odontology is ALWAYS 100% COMPLETELY BULLSHIT and should never be admitted as evidence in court. In fact, I will say that DNA and fingerprints should not even be admitted without other actual evidence such as witnesses, bloody weapons, and such.

  18. I blogged about the case of John Kunco, a Pennsylvania man convicted of a rape in 1992 based mostly on the testimony of a bite mark expert.

    This is the biggest nut punch of the article for me. I hate the idea of "expert" witnesses. If the prosecution or defense can't explain it to the jury, it shouldn't be used. Expert witnesses are nothing but mercenaries with letters after their name.

    1. AC has the nut of a point here. The use of the "expert witness" endorses the fallacy of argument from authority. Right or wrong, the argument should be evaluated on the merits, not on the CV of the person making it. Unfortunately there is little chance of finding jurors capable of evaluating scientific arguments on the merits.

      1. not really. because the jury is still tasked with determining the credibility of ANY witness, and that includes expert witnesses. the jury is ultimately the finder of fact (except in bench trials) and are instructed that judging the credibility of ANY witness is their job

        disclaimer: i have testified as an expert witness

        of course it's important that expert witnesses ARE expert, and clearly the ones in this case -weren't.

        the entire basis for their testimony is suspect

    2. I do recall someone saying that the O.J. Simpson jury listening to the DNA evidence looked , "like a dog staring at a roadmap".

    3. If it weren't for the special treatment of expert witnesses this guy wouldn't have been able to demand a new trial. (He'll probably get one on appeal from this nanny-judge)

  19. "Leaves quite a different impression, doesn't it?"

    I believe this is the crux of the argument when it comes to bite marks.

  20. What's so disturbing about these cases is that it means the real criminal may still be out there committing more crimes.

  21. The Innocence Project provides pro-bono post-conviction legal assistance to individuals that are seeking to prove their innocence with DNA testing and works to enact the reforms needed to protect innocent Americans from wrongful prosecution and incarceration.

    With your support, the Innocence Project is fighting to overturn wrongful convictions and enacting reforms across the country based on the lessons of their work

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