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NCJ Number: 136689 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Forensic Science: Dental and Bite Mark Evidence
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:28  Issue:3  Dated:(May-June 1992)  Pages:276-284
Author(s): P C Giannelli
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews issues in the use of forensic dentistry to establish the identity of a homicide victim and to connect a defendant with a crime by means of bite-mark analysis.
Abstract: Dental identification is based on the assumption that each person's dentition is unique. The identification involves a comparison of antemortem records and postmortem findings to determine points of identity. The courts have accepted dental identification as a means of establishing the identity of a homicide victim. Bite-mark analysis is a relatively new method of establishing a connection between a defendant and a crime. Bite marks occur primarily in sex-related crimes, child abuse cases, and offenses that involve physical altercations. Bite-mark comparisons are based on the same principle as the identification of a deceased person. Bite-mark identification, however, depends not only on the uniqueness of each person's dentition, but also on whether there is a sufficient representation of that uniqueness in the mark found on the skin or other inanimate object. Courts may judicially notice the general validity of bite-mark evidence. Judicial notice, however, does not extend to the validity of an identification in a particular case. Defendants have challenged the admissibility of bite-mark evidence on the grounds that compelling them to submit to a dental examination is unconstitutional. Challenges have been resolved against the defendants in these cases. 62 footnotes
Main Term(s): Dental analysis
Index Term(s): Rules of evidence; Suspect identification; Victim identification
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