"Mississippi Death Row Case Faults Bite-Mark Forensics," is the New York Times report by Erik Eckholm. It appears in the Tuesday edition.
...[M]ounting evidence has shown that matching body wounds to a suspect’s dentition is prone to bias and unreliable.
A disputed bite-mark identification is at the center of an appeal that was filed Monday with the Mississippi Supreme Court. Eddie Lee Howard Jr., 61, has been on death row for two decades for the murder and rape of an 84-year-old woman, convicted largely because of what many experts call a far-fetched match of his teeth to purported bite wounds, discerned only after the woman’s body had been buried and exhumed.
The identification was made by Dr. Michael West, a Mississippi dentist who was sought out by prosecutors across the country in the 1980s and 1990s but whose freewheeling methods “put a huge black eye on bite-mark evidence,” in the words of Dr. Richard Souviron, a Florida-based dental expert who helped identify Mr. Bundy in 1979, in an interview last week.
Since 2000, at least 17 people convicted of murder or rape based on “expert” bite matches have been exonerated and freed, usually because DNA tests showed they had been wrongfully accused, according to research by The Innocence Project in New York. Dr. West was the expert witness in two of those cases.
Related posts are in the junk science category index.
Earlier coverage from Mississippi begins at the link.