Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2009

Source Publication

Journal of Forensic Identification

Abstract

The considerations for admissibility suggested by the Daubert trilogy challenge forensic experts to provide scientific support for opinion testimony. The defense bar has questioned the reliability of bitemark analysis. Under an award from the U. S. Department of Justice, via the Midwest Forensic Resource Center, a two-year feasibility study was undertaken to quantify six dental characteristics. Using two computer programs, the exemplars of 419 volunteers were digitally scanned, characteristics were measured, and frequency was calculated. The study demonstrates that there were outliers or rare dental characteristics in measurements. An analysis of the intra-observer and inter-observer consistency demonstrated a high degree of agreement. Expansion of the sample size through collaboration with other academic researchers will be necessary to be able to quantify the occurrence of these characteristics in the general population. The automated software application, Tom's Toolbox, developed specifically for this research project, could also provide a template for precisely quantifying other pattern evidence.

Comments

Published Version. Journal of Forensic Identification, Volume 59, No. 6, (2009), pp. 609-625.

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