INNOCENT PROJECT: “Eyewitness Identification.” PHOOEY! [sic]

“Eyewitness Identification

Barry Scheck, Co-Director, Innocence Project

The most common element in all wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA evidence has been eyewitness misidentification. Misleading lineup methods have been used for decades without serious scrutiny. Now is the time for change.

Despite solid proof of the inaccuracy of traditional methods – and the availability of simple measures to reform them – eyewitness IDs remain among the most common and compelling evidence brought against criminal defendants.

Misidentifications don’t only threaten the innocent, they also derail investigations. While police focus on finding evidence against an innocent person, the perpetrator can get away.

How the wrong person gets picked
Most law enforcement agencies use the same methods they have used for decades – live and photo lineups, usually conducted without a blind administrator or proper instructions. It is stressful for victims and eyewitnesses to identify a perpetrator, and they make mistakes.

Sometimes these mistakes are triggered by a gap in memory or the desire to make an identification at all costs. In other cases, subtle cues by police – intentional or not – lead to a false identification. Almost all of these mistakes are preventable.” [SOURCE: Innocence Project.]

LAST NIGHT the State of Georgia executed Troy Davis even though 7 of 9 eyewitnesses recanted their original testimony.  The ballistics were questionable and there was no gun with incriminating fingerprints.  To the casual observer


there was more than a mole hill of REASONABLE DOUBT!  Nevertheless, the Georgia State Supreme Court refused to see what was so clear to so many.  The execution was delayed in vain. No white knight came riding on a white horse:  The US Supreme Court, one’s last resort, refused to act in the name of justice for Troy Davis.  He died blessing his executioners and declaring his innocence one last time.
Let this injustice be not in vain.  DONATE to the Innocence Project to help free the death row innocent.


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