Welcome back and thanks for joining us here at The Kronzek Firm for a discussion on the topic of junk sciences versus legitimate forensics. Just stumbled onto this series now? We recommend you take a few moments to get caught up here. However, for those of you who read part 1 and are up to speed, let’s jump back into the list of questionable sciences used by prosecutors to get convictions.
More than two dozen bite-mark convictions have been overturned to date, and yet prosecutors are still using this highly questionable form of evidence in the courtroom. Why? Because it sounds foolproof to the jury (who often don’t understand how unreliable it is!), and it gets convictions. Which is very important if the only thing you care about is a conviction record. But if you give a crap about justice, then you should know that bite mark evidence is nothing more than junk science!
So what is bite mark evidence? It’s essentially the assumption that every person’s teeth are as unique as their fingerprints, and so the bite marks they leave are unique as well. THis may work well as a theory when he substance being bitten is something like malleable clay or slightly softened wax – where the imprint let is perfect and will hold its shape. But that’s rarely the case. And yet bites left on skin are frequently “matched” to a suspect’s teeth, and then used to convict them of all sorts of crimes like Rape, Murder and Assault. Fair? Not remotely! And yet it happens surprisingly often.
Footwear Pattern Analysis:
This particular form of evidence has always been sketchy, at best! Footwear pattern analysis, sometimes called “footprint comparison” is when a crime scene tech collects casts, or takes photographs, of footprints at the crime scene. These footprints are then compared to the shoes found at suspect’s homes and on their feet. What are they looking for? To start with, CSIs are looking for shoe brand, and indicators of a possible suspect’s height and weight. But they’re also after distinct identifying characteristics that make it easier to narrow down their suspect to one person. These things include:
- Cuts and nicks
- Gouges or missing pieces
- Embedded items, like rocks or thumb tacks
- Wear marks
But exactly how reliable is this particular type of forensics? The unfortunate answer is “not very!” Matching shoe print patterns is notoriously difficult, in part because the patterns left at crime scenes are rarely exact. A smudgy or partial print is much more likely, or a print left in dry crumbly soil. Added to that, is the fact that there are literally hundreds of thousands of Reeboks, Nikes and Adidas shoes out there in the Great Lakes State. So how can you be completely certain that you’ve got the right guy? You can’t.
Don’t be falsely accused based on junk science!
Join us next time, when we’ll wrap this up with a look at how questionable forms of modern forensics are coming under fire in courtrooms around the nation. Until then, we want to remind our readers that the best way to avoid being falsely accused of a crime, is to hire the best criminal defense attorney available in Michigan. Attorneys who are experienced, trusted, aggressive, and who have access to top notch expert witnesses that can help debunk junk science in the courtroom!
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime in Michigan, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you fight back against false allegations and garbage “science”. You can’t do this alone. We’ve been defending people in Michigan for almost a quarter century, and we’re here to help you now!