Eyewitness identification

There is hardly ever a postmortem of a derailment in the criminal justice system, as there typically is when a train derails, or a plane crashes.
I'd bet many of you think you have a great memory -- that you can relate your observations clearly and accurately. But you're wrong, too. Don't feel bad about this! We are all imperfect when it comes to observing and remembering.
Nothing is more compelling than an eyewitness who says in court, "that's him" and points at the defendant. But a growing body of evidence now shows the unreliability of eyewitness testimony -- and the horrendously wrong jury verdicts that eyewitnesses produce.
2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgHow could 10 witnesses have all said they were certain a defendant was the perpetrator of the crime, when DNA testing later proved that he was innocent?
In Illinois restitution isn't assured unless a freed prisoner first proves his innocence. That's right. Even if the charges have been dropped, he must convince the county's presiding judge that he didn't do the crime.
"Now you want to make it possible," Alito continued, "for the judge to say that victim may not testify and identify the person
The justices will consider Minneci v. Pollard on Tuesday. Richard Lee Pollard was a federal prisoner incarcerated in a private
Behind each wrongful conviction lie broken lives and shattered dreams. Each one represents a serious and substantial failure of law enforcement: the wrong person locked up; the actual perpetrator at large.
It's hard to escape the notion that the most salient difference between the cases is that Crowe is a White man and Davis is Black. And study after study of capital trials across jurisdictions --including Georgia -- have demonstrated that race matters when it comes to the death penalty.
Experts say human memory is malleable and that eyewitnesses' recollections should be treated with the delicacy of any other crime scene evidence. That doesn't always happen. Here, a resource guide for covering misidentifications and wrongful convictions in your jurisdiction.
Eyewitnesses make mistakes, sometimes tragic mistakes. Courts should acknowledge that uncorroborated eyewitness testimony is inherently untrustworthy, and undermines confidence in the integrity of the justice system.
The legal complications of the constructive nature of memory are clear: being an accurate eyewitness is far more difficult that we give it credit for.
Few moments in a courtroom are as compelling to a jury as seeing a confident witness point out a defendant and say, "that's the man I saw at the crime scene."
In November, the Supreme Court will return to the question of what the Constitution has to say about the use of eyewitness
Illinois Assistant State's Attorney Michael Mermel has had DNA tests clear a number of suspects in cases his office was handling
Witness memory is like any other evidence at a crime scene; it must be preserved carefully and retrieved methodically, or it can be contaminated.
Since 2006, Maine resident Morrison Bonpasse has worked tirelessly for the exoneration of a man he had never met or even heard of until just a few years ago.