Reexamining Eyewitness Testimony

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(AP Photo/John Lent)

Hour 1

Eyewitnesses identify roughly 75,000 suspects a year and some studies have shown that as many as one-third of them may be wrong. DNA evidence has exonerated over two hundred people convicted, in part, on false identification. This has raised serious questions about the trustworthiness of our eyes, memories, and police and court procedures. This month the United States Supreme Court heard a case about the reliability of eyewitness testimony and the New Jersey Supreme Court recently concluded that eyewitnesses are mistaken enough to warrant new rules for judges and jurors to follow when examining evidence from police lineups. Today, we look at eyewitness testimony and what science says about its reliability. Our guests are BRANDON GARRETT, a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia and the author of Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong and RONALD EISENBERG, the Deputy District Attorney for the Law Division of  the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

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[audio: 111411_100630.mp3]

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