Texas decision spreads worldwide

This article from the BBC shows the impact of the Texas decision and why, while many may have hoped that it would be restricted to Texas, it will have an enduring impact on justice systems worldwide.

“I personally never could believe or understand the bite mark testimony, and some of the rest of the family couldn’t either,”  “We wanted to believe we had the right people. We no longer believe [that].” – Family member of victim whose alleged murderer was convicted on the basis of bitemark evidence, speaking to TFSC 12 Feb

Not long after her comments, the commission voted unanimously to recommend a moratorium on the use of bite mark evidence in criminal court cases.

That an independent, credible panel decided that there was insufficient science to support bitemarks is crucial. It differs from those judicial views following Frye and Daubert hearings – here “clever lawyering” and the decision of a single, scientifically unqualified Judge were the arbiters.

The decision therefore carries authority that these judicial findings did not.

We will need to wait and see what other jurisdictions both in US and further afield make of the Texas decision, but one thing is for sure – the work and dedication the TFSC will have a long and impactful reach.

 

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