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The law of witness identification

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The Law of eyewitness identification evidence in criminal trials.
  3. Admissibility.
  4. Expert testimony.
  5. Jury instructions.
  6. Eyewitness inaccuracies and miscalculations.
  7. The science.
  8. Techniques and condemnations of the science.
  9. Conclusion.

Criminal examiners are aware that it usually takes several pieces of evidence to crack an intricate case, so much so, that neophyte recruits and veteran investigators alike are schooled and equipped to search for, spot, bring together, and protect ?palpable? physical evidence like weapons and stolen property, as well as map out physical evidence such as fibers, hairs, fingerprints, blood, and semen. Basically, only a handful of police officers, lawyers, scientists, or people in general, would question the significance and the consequence of employing the best procedures available to acquire and safeguard such evidence, not to mention observance to pertinent constitutional and case law.

[...] That is, when screening a collection of photos or individuals, a witness tends to choose the person who looks ?most like? the perpetrator. When the actual perpetrator is not present in the lineup, the police suspect is often the person who best fits the description, hence his or her selection for the lineup. Given the common, good faith occurrence of police lineups that do not include the actual perpetrator of a crime, it becomes predominantly decisive that other procedural measures are embarked upon to lessen the probability of an inaccurate identification. [...]


[...] A pilot study was conducted in Minnesota in 2006 to test this hypothesis, and the outcomes would show that the sequential procedure is the superior one as a way of enhancing identification exactness and reducing the occurrence of false or erroneous testimonies. The Science The science on eyewitness identification began to unfold in the late 1970s. However, despite the sequential contiguity to Manson, which was decided in 1977, the science did not evolve in response to Manson or any other declaration by courts. [...]


[...] Toglia (eds.) Handbook of eyewitness psychology: Memory for people. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Doyle, J. M. (2005). True witness: Cops, courts, science, and the battle against misidentification. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Dunning, D. and Perretta, S. (2002). ?Automaticity and eyewitness accuracy: A 10?12 s rule for distinguishing accurate from inaccurate positive identifications.? Journal of Applied Psychology 951?962 Loftus, E. F. (1979). Eyewitness testimony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press Morgan, C. A., Hazlett, G., Doran, Garrett, S., Hoyt, G., Thomas, P., Baranoski, M. [...]

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