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Dentists sue over bite mark testimony | Dentist Beverly Hills, Dentist Los Angeles
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Dentists sue over punch symbol testimony

Posted by Z Dental Group - January 18th, 2012

Russell Schneider, DDS, of Waukegan, and Carl Hagstrom, DDS, of Fox Lake, filed their lawsuit opposite Ventura, CA, dentist C. Michael Bowers, JD, DDS, in Nov 2011 in Cook County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit claims that Dr. Bowers used a box they worked on as explanation that a debate fortify is “scientifically unreliable.”

Dr. Bowers is a clinical highbrow during a University of Southern California Ostrow School of Dentistry in Los Angeles and has created several debate dentistry books, including Forensic Dental Evidence: An Investigator’s Handbook. He also co-authored Digital Analysis of Bite Mark Evidence. He has been a dentist for 36 years and is approved by a American Board of Forensic Odontology and as a crime stage analyst. He also serves as a emissary medical investigator for a Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office.

In Feb 2011, Dr. Bowers, who lectures frequently, gave a display titled, “A Perfect Storm: Is There a New Paradigm to Keep Bitemarks Afloat or Will They Sink?” during a annual assembly of a American Academy of Forensic Science. According to a lawsuit, he enclosed in that speak a box that Drs. Schneider and Hagstrom had worked on in a list of 10 prejudicial philosophy caused by punch symbol evidence. They lay that this movement subjected them to gibe and a detriment of business.

Case overturned

The box Dr. Bowers referenced concerned Bennie Starks, who was convicted in 1986 of violence and raping a 68-year-old woman. Drs. Schneider and Hagstrom examined justification for prosecutors in a box and testified during conference that Stark’s teeth matched a punch symbol on a woman’s shoulder.

Starks was condemned to 60 years in jail though always confirmed his innocence. In 2006, after portion scarcely 20 years, an Illinois appeals probity postulated Starks a new conference after DNA tests released him as a source of semen on a victim’s underwear.

The appellate probity did not order on a punch symbol evidence. But successive forensic analysis of Drs. Schneider and Hagstrom’s opinions by Dr. Bowers and other odontologists resolved that their work was flawed, according to Jed Stone, Starks’ attorney. Specifically, they found that Drs. Schneider and Hagstrom topsy-turvy a top and reduce molds of Starks’ teeth, treacherous one for a other, in their examination.

Drs. Schneider and Hagstrom did not respond to requests by DrBicuspid.com for comment; Dr. Bowers declined to comment.

Bite symbol research criticized

Bite symbol testimony has been criticized by some courts for a miss of a systematic foundation, radically withdrawal dentists to review by visible conference punch outlines on a victim’s skin with x-rays or molds of a suspect’s teeth to establish if they match.

“Drs. Hagstrom and Schneider wrongly identified photographs of purported punch outlines on a plant as entrance from Mr. Starks,” Stone told DrBicuspid.com. “We now know dual things. One, they were wrong. And two, their punch symbol opinion, introduced by a charge during Mr. Starks’ trial, contributed to his prejudicial conviction.”

A Congressional conference in 2009 focused on a explanation of a National Academy of Sciences report on a systematic basement of debate disciplines. Among a settlement justification fields reviewed in a report, punch symbol research perceived vicious commentary. During a hearing, legislators listened from another male who, like Sparks, was wrongfully convicted on punch symbol justification and after vindicated by DNA analysis.

In addition, a 2009 investigate published in a Journal of Forensic Sciences (July 2009, Vol. 54:4, pp. 909-914) challenged a ordinarily hold faith that each punch symbol can be perpetrator identified. The formula indicated that when dental alignments were similar, specifying that set of teeth finished a bites was difficult. The researchers cautioned that punch outlines should be really delicately evaluated in rapist investigations in that perpetrator temperament is a concentration of a case.

The study’s lead author, Raymond Miller, DDS, a clinical associate highbrow of oral justification sciences during a University during Buffalo’s Laboratory for Forensic Odontology Research in a School of Dental Medicine, remarkable that countless cases have been overturned by erring interpretation of punch marks. Dr. Miller warned of a apocalyptic consequences caused by such misidentification for a accused, a victim, and a probity system.

“We know that debate odontologists are glorious during identifying tellurian stays from dental records,” Stone said. “We know that a scholarship is distant reduction arguable when dentists try to brand punch outlines on effervescent skin surfaces. And we know that whatever trustworthiness there is, it is distant reduction arguable still when finished usually from photographs.”

The stream fit claims that Dr. Bowers’ display constitutes “false publications” given a annulment of Starks’ self-assurance was not due to inadequate punch symbol testimony. It claims that Dr. Bowers imputed that Drs. Schneider and Hagstrom “lack ability and integrity” as debate odontologists.

The purported insult spoiled a veteran reputations of Drs. Schneider and Hagstrom, a censure contends. They have not been defended to yield punch symbol testimony in any cases given then, and a series of patients that have been referred to them for diagnosis and research has decreased, according to a lawsuit.

In a insult suit, a plaintiff contingency infer that a purported insulting statements are false. If it goes to trial, a box could open an exploration into a systematic effect of punch symbol evidence.

The fit seeks saving indemnification as good as authorised costs.

Prosecutors still have not motionless either to retry Starks.

Study hurdles use of punch symbol research in forensics, Sep 16, 2009

Copyright © 2012 DrBicuspid.com

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