Account Critical Essay Eyewitness
She earned her Ph D in English from the University of Georgia in 2015.There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.Unknown to the individual, memories are forgotten, reconstructed, updated, and distorted.Complicating the process further, policies governing law enforcement procedures for conducting and recording identifications are not standard, and policies and practices to address the issue of misidentification vary widely.The witness should be asked to describe in his or her own words how confident he or she is in the identification at the time the identification is made.This is critical for helping jurors evaluate the reliability of the identification when the case goes to trial.We’ve known for decades that eyewitness accounts of events are unreliable and that they generally become more unreliable over time.
Since witnesses often pick up inadvertent clues from the officer conducting a live or photo lineup, these procedures must be performed “blind” by an officer who is unaware of the identity of the suspect or who does not know the position of the suspect in the lineup.
Witnesses’ confidence is often falsely inflated by confirming feedback by the time they testify at trial.
Indeed, researchers recommend that the lineup be electronically recorded so there is a permanent record of what occurred.
The good news is that there are some simple procedures police and prosecutors can follow to vastly improve the integrity of eyewitness testimony.
The bad news is that because these procedures result in fewer identifications, police and prosecutors have been reluctant to implement them.