Who Bites with Only His Upper Teeth?

Two Mississippi men spent a combined 30 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. They were separately charged with sexually assaulting and murdering two 3-year-old girls — in two separate crimes — two years apart. The pathologist who conducted both autopsies said he suspected the girls had been bitten. In both cases only top teeth marks were found. Link to the video here.

Life and death consequences result from believing what isn’t true. For two convicted murderers in Mississippi, only the efforts of The Innocence Project rescued them from death row.

I hope someone will research the topic of capital convictions overturned by DNA evidence.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels. www.davidbdale.wordpress.com
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3 Responses to Who Bites with Only His Upper Teeth?

  1. vconverse9 says:

    I think I’m going to take a stab at this topic. It seems really dense and something that would be quite interesting to learn about.

    • David Hodges says:

      I’m really glad to hear that, Victoria. Innocent people (well, at least not-guilty people) are convicted of capital crimes for such a variety of reasons: bad science, flawed testimony from experts, overzealous prosecutors, actual corruption. But now, if they can get a judge to accept an appeal, DNA evidence can trump all the other evidence and get bad judgments overturned.

      You’ll want to pick something narrow to research, just one of those causes, for example, or just one type of crime. Or maybe it would be interesting to track the times new evidence still isn’t enough: sometimes district attorneys are so reluctant to admit their errors they’ll fight hard to keep prisoners locked up even when the evidence of their innocence is overwhelming.

      Anyway, get to work. I’m eager to see what sources you can find.

  2. David Hodges says:

    Note to other interested students: Victoria is first to express interest in this topic, but she needn’t be the only student to explore it. There are no “dibs.” If the topic intrigues you too, there is plenty of room for original research on this broad agenda. You could track whether the Innocence Project has made states more reluctant to execute death row inmates for fear of reprisal or just “getting it wrong.”

    It may sound grisly, but is it possible these efforts to overturn death row convictions have actually accelerated the executions of some inmates by states that wanted to forestall another round of appeals before they could start? I’m just asking.

    Anyway, don’t hesitate to jump on board with any topic you hear your classmates discuss that sounds intriguing. I will even happily entertain proposals from small groups of students who wish to collaborate on a single research topic, provided each writes his or her own paper.

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