Numerous studies have shown that eyewitness identification of a suspect is a problematic form of evidence – eyewitness misidentification has played a part in nearly 75% of wrongful convictions overturned through DNA testing. Nevertheless, eyewitness testimony is an incredibly influential form of evidence in criminal law and very compelling to a jury.
The unreliable nature of eyewitness testimony has influenced a variety of groups to advocate for reforms regarding the procedures of police and prosecutors in handling eyewitnesses and their accounts of crimes. Advocates of eyewitness identification reform suggest several changes in eyewitness identification procedures, including a “blind” administration of lineups, in which the person who administers the lineup does not know who the suspect is. Other changes include lineups that do not unjustly single out a suspect and a randomization of photo lineups of suspects.
Read more here.
Learn more about eyewitness identification best practices at NCIP’s symposium.
Watch a clip from NBC’s The Today Show that puts eyewitness memory to the test.