• The method of identification utilized here . . . is simply a matter of comparison of items of physical evidence to determine if they are reciprocal. The methods for making such comparisons are indeed complex and require skilled technicians to perform, but they consist of standardized procedures known to procure accurate models and measurements.
See Carter v. State, 766 N.E.2d 377, 381 (Ind. 2002), reh’g denied(quoting Niehaus v. State, 359 N.E.2d 513, 516 (Ind. 1977), reh’g denied, cert. denied, 434 U.S. 902 (1977))(“[T]he bite mark method of identification in Niehaus ‘[was] simply a matter of comparison of items of physical evidence to determine if they are reciprocal.’”)
• We see no reason why [bite mark] evidence should be rejected as unreliable, simply because it has thus far had limited application.
See Carter v. State, 766 N.E.2d 377, 380 (Ind. 2002), reh’g denied(quoting and citing Niehaus v. State, 359 N.E.2d 513, 516 (Ind. 1977), reh’g denied, cert. denied, 434 U.S. 902 (1977))(“In 1977 this Court could find ‘no reason why [bite mark] evidence should be rejected as unreliable . . . .’ The analysis of bite mark evidence was a relatively new procedure in 1977, and the defendant does not argue that it has become less reliable.”)
Obtaining dental impressions and its relationship to the privilege against self-incrimination
• It is well settled that although self-incrimination protects a defendant from testimonial compulsion, it does not protect against compulsory submission to purely physical tests such as fingerprinting, body measurements, handwriting and voice exemplars. The latter acts are distinguishable from acts constituting testimonial compulsion in that they do not require an incriminating communicative act by a defendant. . . . Likewise, in the instant case[,] the oral examination and impressions made of Defendant's teeth, produced an incriminating product of compulsion, but were neither [the defendant's] testimony nor evidence relating to some communicative act or writing by [the defendant] and thus were not inadmissible on privilege grounds.
See Carr v. State, 728 N.E.2d 125, 129 (Ind. 2000)(“As this Court has previously held, ordering a defendant to submit to the taking of dental impressions does not violate the Fourth Amendment when supported by probable cause. Because the warrant was supported by probable cause and the voluntary submission of dental impressions does not violate [the defendant’s constitutional rights], there is no Fourth Amendment violation in the more drastic procedures required to obtain [the defendant’s] compliance.”)
• For more information about the privilege against self-incrimination, please review Privilege Against Self-Incrimination.