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Fact:  There is NO forensic evidence in Spence 1 or Spence 2 except bite marks.

Fact:  David Spence has an Appeal before the Third Circuit also,  filed about a year and a half ago by Jay English,  attorney,  Dallas, Texas.  Mr. English represents the Estate of David Wayne Spence, Spence’s sons and brother,  along with Anthony Melendez.

Mr. English is one of the only attorneys that actually has a case of “actual innocence” under his belt.  Mr. English met with Anthony Melendez in 2015 before Melendez’s death which meant the world to Anthony Melendez.   Mr. Walter Reaves,  who represented Anthony Melendez for over 31 years,  had a file with less than 300 pages in it when he turned Melendez’s file over to his new attorney.

Unlike the rest of us,  Anthony Melendez had a hard time giving up on Waco Attorney Walter Reaves, but once he made his decision and hired Mr. English he spent the rest of his days with a lot more relief and the knowledge that even though he would be gone,  the truth would someday come out.  Jay English has no idea the happiness, faith, and comfort he brought to Tony and the people who believed in his innocence.

Perhaps Truman Simons will have some new theory,  “we always knew there were four more killers”,  or something akin to that.  Fact remains,  they convicted Spence only on bite marks in the first trial,  and in the second trial they already KNEW that Homer Campbell had identified  dental remains that were believed to be of one Melody Cutliff.  Campbell signed Court Documents identifying the remains as Cutliff and a few weeks later,  Melody Cutliff turned up quite alive.  This didn’t seem to bother anyone when it came to Homer Campbell’s testimony, however.  AAAaaah,  what’s one little mistake?

The Innocence Project of America noticed a pattern of innocence.  That pattern was people convicted from bite mark evidence.  Seems later they were cleared via confessions, and dna.  As you know,  “bite marks” are now “junk science”,  we are waiting for the TEXAS FORENSICS COMMISSION to make that official,  very soon.

The TEXAS FORENSICS COMMISSION also has been investigating two cases for about four years now.  David Wayne Spence and his mother,  Juanita White.

Now that the Third Circuit has published their Opinion,  you will see the Forensics Commission and others work quickly to grant “actual innocence” to those who well deserve it.

Spence may just be the first proven case of innocence after death in history.

Now it gets exciting.




Steven Mark Chaney and Innocence Project’s M. Chris Fabricant

The case against a man convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 1987 murder of a Dallas couple was based largely on a bite mark on one of the bodies. The forensic odontologist testified in court that there was a 1-in-a-million chance that someone other than Steven Mark Chaney left the impressions there.

Decades later, the dentist said he was wrong. Chaney went free in 2015. And now, a Texas appeals court has declared him, after 28 years behind bars, “actually innocent.”

Could it mark the final turning point for some bite-mark evidence in American courtrooms? The Innocence Project, which counts at least 25 wrongful arrested or convictions due to erroneous bite mark analysis, seems to think so.

“We are encouraged that the law is beginning to catch up with scientific reality,” said M. Chris Fabricant, director of strategic litigation for the Innocence Project. “The scientific community is unanimous in concluding that bite mark evidence has no place in our courtrooms and has all too often been used to destroy the lives of innocent people, convicting them for crimes they had nothing do with.”

The bodies of John and Sally Sweek were found around midnight on June 20, 1987 on the kitchen floor in their east Dallas apartment. The throats had been slashed, and there were numerous stab wounds on each body. What were initially identified as human bite marks were found on the lower left arm of John Sweek, according to historical accounts.

Authorities alleged Chaney bought cocaine from Sweek regularly—and was regularly in debt to him at the time of the murders. The investigators homed in on Chaney, who provided nine alibi witnesses for his whereabouts the day of the slayings.

But those witnesses did not matter. The detectives ordered full dental impressions and wax bite impressions of Chaney’s mouth, which the accused voluntarily agreed to. The dentists called to testify for the prosecution concluded Chaney had left them around the time of the Sweeks’ deaths.

The investigators also confiscated Chaney’s tennis shoes to match to footprints made in blood at the crime scene, which was provided as further evidence of Chaney being at the scene of the crime. A serologist also testified that the sneakers tested presumptively positive for blood—but said there conclusions were limited, because it was such small trace amounts, and other substances could have created the positive indications.

A fingerprint found low on the kitchen wall also matched the accused, according to the court filings.

Further evidence included witnesses who said Chaney had said incriminating things after the murders, and his alibi witnesses’ stories did not match up.

Chaney was convicted, and sentenced to life.

The Innocence Project and Dallas District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, as well as the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office, looked into the case. And it became a vanguard of changes to come in the wake of the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report called “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward.” The report took especial aim at bite marks left in the skin of victims—since skin is malleable and can be difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically “match” between an impression and a suspect.

The lawyers and experts looking at the Chaney case focused on the bite-mark evidence—and even got one of the forensic odontologists to distance himself from the 1989 testimony.

After a series of court battles, Chaney was released in October 2015.

Several months later, the Texas Forensic Science Commission recommended a moratorium on all similar bite-mark evidence in the Lone Star State’s courtrooms.

Fabricant, the Innocence Project attorney, said that the Chaney case could be a watershed for the consideration of certain kinds of forensic evidence.

“Hopefully this decision will be a turning point in purging unscientific and unreliable forensics, which has no place in any criminal trials, from our legal system,” he said in a statement.

The American Board of Forensic Odontology has been re-working its protocols under the scrutiny. Just this past February, the group pu tout a new flow chart of how to evaluate potentiall tooth impressions in skin, according to Richard Weems, the ABFO president. No longer would a dentist tell a courtroom numerical analysis like in the Chaney case. The protocols also now involve verified second opinions including expanded “line-ups” requiring experts to look at unrelated peoples’ dentition in addition to the suspect’s.

Most interestingly, the strongest a forensic odontologist could say was that a suspect was “not excluded,” said Weems.

“Saying someone made the bite is not in our vocabulary anymore,” said Weems, who has done work with Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Teams, or DMORT, within the National Disaster Medical System. “It’s a new day, and we feel confident and pretty proud of our new guidelines.”

The Associated Press reports that Chaney can expect to receive $2 million from Texas in compensation.

The clamor against the use of bite-mark evidence has only grown in the time since Chaney was release, up until his total exoneration. For instance, a dentist and researcher wrote last month that it was up to the courts to ensure “bitemark identification will join the rank of other deceased forensic science.”  Forensic Magazine has also reported other reversed convictions and prisoner releases related to bite-mark identification—like that of William Richards in California, who spent 25 years behind bars for his wife’s murder, and also Keith Allen Harward in Virginia, who had 33 years in prison for a rape and murder.






In a Landmark Decision, Texas Forensic Science … – Innocence Project

Feb 12, 2016 – In a Landmark Decision, Texas Forensic Science Commission Issues Moratorium on the Use of Bite Mark Evidence. … The decision was in response to a request by the Innocence Project to investigate the forensic practice that has contributed to at least 24 wrongful convictions or indictments.

Texas Court of Appeals Vacates Wrongful … – Innocence Project

Dec 19, 2018 – The Texas Court of Appeals today vacated the wrongful conviction of Steven … Make a tax-deductible gift by 12/31 and be part of justice in 2019. … Appeals Vacates Wrongful Conviction Based on False Bite Mark Testimony … As a result of Chaney’s case, the Texas Forensic ScienceCommission, following …

Misapplication of Forensic Science – Innocence Project

Bite mark comparison in which an identification of a biter is made from a bite mark … In some cases, forensic analysts have fabricated results, hidden exculpatory … Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) is advising the nation on this path … reviews conducted by the Texas Forensic ScienceCommission in response to …

Texas Forensic Science Commission to Investigate Bite Mark …

Aug 21, 2015 – Texas Forensic Science Commission to Investigate Bite Mark Evidence … complaint and oral presentation by the Innocence Project’s Strategic Litigation department … The charges against Mr. Williams were dismissed in 1993.

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