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Friday, February 29, 2008

The case of the mistaken bite marks

At a small-town courthouse in one of rural Mississippi's poorest counties, Dr. Michael West swore under oath that a dead girl had bite marks all over her body and that they were made by the two front teeth of the man charged with murdering her.

Such testimony had become commonplace for West. The dentist considered himself an authority on forensic odontology and had taken the stand at numerous trials as a paid expert for the prosecution.

Turns out, multiple people were wrongly convicted, and in at least one case West blamed defendents for bite marks that were actually left by crawfish and bugs nibbling on the corpse.

-- Sara Shepherd


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