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Criminal Procedure

Pace Law Faculty Publications

2009

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The Eyewitness Conundrum: How Courts, Police And Attorneys Can Reduce Mistakes By Eyewitnesses, Bennett L. Gershman Jan 2009

The Eyewitness Conundrum: How Courts, Police And Attorneys Can Reduce Mistakes By Eyewitnesses, Bennett L. Gershman

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Reducing the incidence of wrongful convictions based on eyewitness mistakes poses a difficult challenge to the criminal justice system. There is near-unanimity among courts and commentators that eyewitness mistakes account for more erroneous convictions than any other type of proof. It is therefore incumbent on every key participant in the criminal justice system - judge, prosecutor, police, and defense counsel - to use every available tool to protect an accused from being mistakenly identified by an eyewitness. For the judge, protecting the accused requires a willingness to give the jury special instructions on eyewitness identification and a willingness to allow the use ...