"We are so appreciative," said Southern Center for Human Rights lawyer Mark Loudon-Brown, who believes in Denton's innocence. "This is a huge relief."
Lee Arrendale State Prison near Alto.
Loudon-Brown and fellow Southern Center lawyer Katie Moss drove to the prison on Wednesday to pick up Denton. The 53-year-old woman will stay with her son and two grandchildren in Riverdale.
“It is our hope the district attorney will not retry her,” Loudon-Brown said. “They don’t have the evidence. The right thing to do is dismiss this case.”
Ware DA George Barnhill, whose office opposed Denton’s new trial motion, did not respond to emails seeking comment.
During a hearing in 2018, Denton’s legal team called upon two experts in dentistry, Cynthia Brzozowski and Adam Freeman. In his order, Gillis noted that the two witnesses said they were there free of charge and out of an obligation to fulfill their ethical and civic duties.
Both testified they had once believed bite mark evidence could be useful, but scientific advances and the growing number of wrongful convictions attributable to such testimony had changed their minds.
Brzozowski said David’s testimony at Denton’s trial would not be permitted now and also was inconsistent with today’s understanding of bite marks. Brzozowski added that she couldn’t even determine if the injuries on Denton and Garner were “human bite marks.”
Freeman not only corroborated Brzozowski’s testimony, he said that, based on his expert opinion, neither mark in Denton’s case constituted a bite mark.
David was also called to testify during the 2018 new trial hearing. He conceded that his testimony today would be different from what he gave years before. He also admitted that, today, he would not compare the marks on Garner with Denton’s teeth because it was uncertain what caused the injury.
In his order, Gillis said the orthodontic profession’s recognition of the inadequacies of bite mark evidence is profound and undisputed. “Proven unreliable scientific evidence should never serve as the basis of a conviction and should be dealt with by the courts when it is found,” he said.