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Bite marks reaffirmed as evidence in sexual assault, murder cases

The legal community around the country has been closely watching a case in another state. The case involved an alleged murder, in which the prosecution wanted to used bite marks found on the victim to try to convict the man accused of committing the crime. Many were hoping to see the judge rule against allowing such evidence because of a history of unreliable conclusions using bite-mark forensics.

Instead the judge decided that the evidence could be presented. This technique would compare bite marks found on a victim, usually of sexual assault or murder to the teeth of a person accused of a crime. However, these comparisons often are incomplete or simply inaccurate.

According to a report by the Associated Press, data from the Innocence Project shows that 24 men have been exonerated after serving extended sentences for convictions that may have been secured because of faulty bite-mark evidence.

An experienced criminal defense attorney in Denver can help a person who is accused of sexual assault understand the evidence that might be used against them. A rigorous criminal defense can hopefully help prevent a conviction and damage to the accused person's reputation.

When someone is wrongfully convicted, they often have their reputation damaged and are unable to reintegrate into a community after successfully serving a sentence. Even if they are exonerated while still serving a sentence, they might have a stigma attached to them, making it difficult to find employment and mend relationships that were lost because of the criminal proceedings.

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

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