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. [...]
[...] For instance, the Court demands that the confidence of the witness be taken into consideration as a gauge on the reliability of the identification evidence. As noted, however, wide-ranging researches in the social sciences have revealed that confidence is undependable and defective as a predictor of accuracy. Social scientists and legal scholars have also articulated apprehensions that Manson list as a whole is substantially incomplete,” hence, opening the courthouse doors to the admission of unreliable evidence (Wells et al p. [...]
[...] It is true that college students are the most common subjects in these experiments, in large part out of convenience. However, many studies have used young children, adolescents, middle-aged persons, and the elderly. Results and conclusions in these investigative studies have shown time after time that college students outperform these other populations (Pozzulo pp. 283-308; Bartlett and Memon, 2006). College students are less affected by suggestive procedures, more likely to make accurate identifications, and so on. Therefore, if anything, college students as witnesses underrate the enormity of the problem. [...]
[...] Both biological science (though DNA) and social science (through eyewitness identification experiments) have shed new light on the eyewitness identification blunders and have exposed these blunders to be much more widespread than the 1977 Court could have deduced. Today years later, everyone seems wiser. In a mutual effort between social science and the law, we should be able to craft a scheme that can provide stronger incentives to get rid of needless evocative procedures without excluding reliable identifications. It can safely be concluded that the Manson approach is not such a system. [...]
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