Discusses forensic odontology, focusing on its use in criminal cases. Its use for person identification is highlighted, as is the importance of bitemark evidence. Legal context is also given.
Dr. David Sweet, OC, DMD, PhD, DABFO, FICD, FACD, is the associate dean of students and a tenured professor of oral diagnosis and forensic odontology at the University of British Columbia. He is director of the BOLD Forensic Laboratory, a unique resource dedicated to full-time forensic dentistry research, casework, and graduate teaching. This is the place where laboratory discoveries and modern forensic science methods are applied to dental evidence to assist in the resolution of legal issues. Since the laboratory opened in 1996, Dr. Sweet has been involved in over 1,000 high-profile criminal cases. He has developed new techniques that are now used internationally by forensic investigators. In 2008, Dr. Sweet was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada for his work as a forensic scientist, researcher, teacher, and consultant. Dr. Sweet was chief scientist for disaster victim identification at INTERPOL in France from 2005 to 2011 and a forensic advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Switzerland from 2009 to 2012.
Caitlin M. Pakosh, HBSc, JD, has been working as case management counsel of Innocence Canada (formerly known as AIDWYC) since 2012 and is responsible for managing the Association’s cases across Canada. She obtained her honours bachelor of science degree, specializing in forensic anthropology and earning a minor in biology, from the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2008. Her undergraduate thesis, which examined the decomposition of dismembered pig limbs enclosed in plastic bags and submerged in Lake Ontario, was conducted during her internship with the Toronto Police Service Marine Unit and published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in 2009. Ms. Pakosh obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Calgary in 2011. She has appeared in the Court of Appeal for Ontario and has worked on intervener and appellate cases that have appeared at a variety of levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as ministerial review applications. Since 2013, Ms. Pakosh has cross-examined forensic science students in annual mock trials at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where students practise being expert witnesses. She is a member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is also an associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Canadian Society of Forensic Science.