Belief of eyewitness identification evidence. Because of their ineffectiveness, psychologists have attempted to improve them. Psychol Crime Law 14 3: In sum, there is no consistently effective legal safeguard for eyewitness error. They also demonstrate the great progress that can be made in eyewitness research when psychologists and legal professionals work together to reduce eyewitness error. In fact, some Guide procedures have been implemented in less than half of the agencies, and the majority of the U. Compared to the eyewitness experts, the judges were more likely to believe that jurors were knowledgeable about eyewitness testimony.

If a law-enforcement officer fails to comply with the requirements of the rule, the results of the lineup are inadmissible. They also demonstrate the great progress that can be made in eyewitness research when psychologists and legal professionals work together to reduce eyewitness error. Effectiveness of traditional safeguards against erroneous conviction arising from mistaken eyewitness identification. It became clear that the predominate cause was inaccurate eyewitness identification. Their results were compared to prior surveys of legal professionals and lay persons and to scientific studies of memory.

The Trouble with Eyewitness Identification Testimony in Criminal Cases

Judges Psychologists have also studied what legal professionals and experts know about eyewitness testimony and misixentification. A disadvantage of a traditional lineup, or a lineup of pictures when all the pictures are presented at once, is that a witness may compare people and select the person that most approximates what they remember.

Mock-juror belief of accurate and inaccurate eyewitnesses: In using lineups for purposes of eyewitness identification, the literature recommends the following reforms, as defined by Professor Findley:.


Furthermore, it appears judges, like jurors, have difficulty integrating their knowledge of eyewitness testimony into the facts of a criminal case Although witnesses can often be very confident that their memory is accurate when identifying a suspect, the malleable nature of human memory and visual perception makes eyewitness testimony one of the most unreliable forms of evidence.

Years All Many of these misidentifications could have been prevented, many wrongful convictions averted, and many additional crimes avoided if police had used more mixidentification lineup procedures.

Eyewitness Identification Reform – Innocence Project

Several studies tested the Telfaire jury instructions. In fact, many police departments do not have written procedures for conducting identifications, so there is often inconsistency even within individual police departments.

Psychol Crime Law 16 8: Courts could provide information about eyewitnesses to potential jurors who may hear criminal cases.

Eyewigness is suggested that only one suspect be included in a lineup, even if there are multiple suspects. After 30 years, what do we know about what jurors know?

eyewitness misidentification essay

Expert Testimony on the Psychology of Eyewitness Identification. October 29, at 7: A Training Manual for Law Enforcement. Courts took very little notice of the problems associated with eyewitness identification until DNA evidence began to be used to exonerate criminal defendants, in some cases decades after they were convicted.

eyewitness misidentification essay

Years All Identification procedures should be videotaped. This is critically important because research has demonstrated that this instruction decreases misidentifications. Join our mailing list.

For example, law courses such as criminal law and criminal procedure could include in-depth information about the different types of eyewitness error, the causes of eyewitness error, and the legal safeguards needed to minimize eyewitness error.


It was a very comprehensive review of studies that defined the nature of the problem and suggested solutions that can be employed to mitigate the impact. J Appl Psychol 82 2: Effects of testimonial inconsistencies and eewitness confidence on mock-juror judgments.

eyewitness misidentification essay

The total number of wrongful convictions involving misidentjfication misidentifications exceeds this figure, given the widespread use of eyewitness testimony and the limited number of cases in which DNA evidence is available for post-conviction testing. The non-reform officers reported following on average, only Obviously, these circumstances create a highly suggestive situation in which the risk of misidentificatipn misidentification dramatically increases.

J Appl Psychol 81 1: This unintentional suggestion can lead an eyewitness to identify a particular individual in a photo array or lineup.

Lastly, jurors have trouble integrating their knowledge of eyewitness factors into the facts of a criminal case 23 — Years All The New Jersey Courts also created Rule 3: Department of Justice, published Eyewitness Evidence: Footnotes 1 In both the U.

They also demonstrate the great progress that can be made in eyewitness research when psychologists and legal professionals work together to reduce eyewitness error.