Slate has an article today on the grotesque corruption of a Mississippi forensic examiner who used bogus bite mark analysis to help prosecutors, ultimately leading to the bogus imprisonment of innocent people. The author of the piece has reported on the situation before and offers an interesting observation:

One key problem is that forensics labs often fall under the auspices of prosecutors. Even honest crime-lab workers, medical examiners, and other experts can be subtly influenced to make evidence conform to a prosecutor’s wishes.

Pro-prosecutor bias is exactly what Maryland public defenders say is wrong with Dr. William Vosburgh, the director of D.C.’s incipient crime lab, in an October 2007 story in the Washington City Paper. A coincidence: Vosburgh might have testified more about blood-spatter patterns than bite marks during his career in Maryland, but he does know a thing or two about teeth—he used to be a dentist.

Vosburgh responded to the story with an angry letter, and an attorney in Maryland responded to Vosburgh’s miffed missive with a pissed epistle of his own.

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