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In pivotal NY test, judge OKs bite mark evidence

Dental molds were used in research by Dr. Mary Bush at the University of Buffalo, N.Y. Her findings call into question techniques used for bite-mark evidence in court cases.
Dental molds were used in research by Dr. Mary Bush at the University of Buffalo, N.Y. Her findings call into question techniques used for bite-mark evidence in court cases. David Duprey/Associated Press, file

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NEW YORK — Bite mark evidence that may connect a murder suspect to the victim will be allowed at his trial, a judge decided Thursday, disappointing those who hoped the case would help get the forensic technique banished from the nation’s courtrooms.

Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley’s decision follows lengthy testimony last year that went to the heart of the reliability of bite mark analysis, which involves comparing bite marks left on the flesh of victims with the teeth of suspects.

At least 24 men convicted or charged with murder or rape based on bite marks found on victims have been exonerated in the United States since 2000, according to a June report by the Associated Press based on decades of court records, archives, news reports, and filings by the Innocence Project.

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