Video shows controversial forensic specialist Michael West fabricating bite marks

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Radley Balko, senior writer for Huffington Post says, "I have a new piece up at Huffington Post related the Leigh Stubbs case. Stubbs is a Mississippi woman serving a 44-year sentence due to the testimony of disgraced bite mark specialist Michael West. I first wrote about her last month. Now, two forensic specialists have released a video of West's examination of Stubbs' alleged victim, and it provides more evidence that West has "found" bite marks on his victims over the years by actually creating them himself. I wrote about a similar video for Reason in 2009.

"There are dozens of people still in prison because of West, including at least two on death row."

201109061358 On Aug. 9, The Huffington Post reported on the case of Leigh Stubbs, a Mississippi woman serving a 44-year sentence for assault and drug charges. Stubbs was convicted in large part due to the testimony of Michael West, a disgraced bite mark specialist. Though West has been largely discredited, prosecutors and state officials in Mississippi (and to a lesser extent in Louisiana) continue to defend convictions won based on his testimony.

In Stubbs' case, West presented two key pieces of evidence. The first involved the bite mark wizardry that made him famous, and then infamous: West claimed to have found bite marks on alleged victim Kim Williams that medical personnel hadn't seen. He then used a dental mold of Stubbs' teeth to perform an analysis on the marks, and would later testify that it was a "probability" that Stubbs had bitten Williams.


On Wednesday, forensic specialists Mike Bowers and David Averill posted a video recording of West's examination of Williams on their site, In his initial examination, West claims to have "missed" the evidence of a bite mark. He testified he found it in a a subsequent examination performed days later. That examination is depicted in the video below. Note that at the 50-second mark, a bite mark appears in Williams' skin, seemingly out of nowhere.

Video Shows Controversial Forensic Specialist Michael West Fabricating Bite Marks