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Human Rights Law

Seattle University School of Law

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Cross-Racial Misidentification: A Call To Action In Washington State And Beyond, Taki V, Flevaris, Ellie F. Chapman Apr 2015

Cross-Racial Misidentification: A Call To Action In Washington State And Beyond, Taki V, Flevaris, Ellie F. Chapman

Seattle University Law Review

Research indicates eyewitness identifications are incorrect approximately one-third of the time in criminal investigations. For years, this phenomenon has significantly contributed to wrongful convictions all over the country, including in Washington State. But jurors, attorneys, and police remain unaware of the nature and extent of the problem and continue to give undue weight to eyewitness evidence. Experts have estimated that approximately 5,000–10,000 felony convictions in the United States each year are wrongful, and research suggests that approximately 75% of wrongful convictions involve eyewitness misidentification. The phenomenon of eyewitness misidentification is also amplified and most troublesome in the ...