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Chapter 9. Eyewitness and Scientific Identification. Wrongful Convictions and Eyewitness Identification. perception frightened and overwhelmed victims memory memories fade and change with the passage of time the power of suggestion identifications retrieval selection selectiveness

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chapter 9

Chapter 9

Eyewitness and Scientific Identification

wrongful convictions and eyewitness identification
Wrongful Convictions and Eyewitness Identification
  • perception
    • frightened and overwhelmed victims
  • memory
    • memories fade and change with the passage of time
    • the power of suggestion
  • identifications
    • retrieval
    • selection
    • selectiveness
    • closure
the identification process
The Identification Process
  • three goals of identification rules
  • blind/double-blind identifications
  • clear instructions should be given
  • lineups should be shown with the possibility of a suspect not being present
  • only one eyewitness at a time should be allowed to view a lineup
  • sequential presentations vs. simultaneous lineups
  • NIJ manual for lineups
  • additional steps taken by judges
sixth amendment and eyewitness identifications
Sixth Amendment and Eyewitness Identifications
  • United States v. Wade
    • suspects in a lineup or showup must be given the opportunity for counsel
    • right to counsel applies at all critical stages of a criminal proceeding
    • “suggestive procedures”
  • Gilbert v. California: clarified and affirmed Wade
  • Wade–Gilbert rule
sixth amendment and prearraignment identifications
Sixth Amendment and Prearraignment Identifications
  • Kirby v. Illinois
    • a showup following arrest but before the initiation of adversary criminal proceedings is not a critical stage of criminal prosecution
    • two justifications
  • -pre-indictment efficiency
  • -post-indictment (prosecution) need for counsel
  • Moore v. Illinois: affirmed Kirby
sixth amendment and photographic displays
Sixth Amendment and Photographic Displays
  • United States v. Ash
    • a postindictment photographic display is not a critical stage of the prosecution
    • during a photographic display, the accused is not present and has no need for a lawyer’s assistance
    • the attorney is able to guard against suggestiveness by inspecting the size and format of the photographs and then has the opportunity to point out any bias to the jury
    • corporeal vs. noncorporeal identification
due process test
Due Process Test
  • Stovall v. Denno: suspects during the preindictment phase are protected by the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments against identification procedures that create a likelihood that an innocent individual will be misidentified
  • applies to lineups, showups, and photographic displays, whether preindictment or postindictment
suggestiveness reliability and totality
Suggestiveness, Reliability and Totality
  • Manson v. Brathwaite
    • a single photo identification is so suggestive that it runs an unreasonable risk of suggestiveness and bias
    • the fact that a procedure is suggestive does not mean that the identification is inaccurate and should be automatically excluded from evidence
    • totality-of-the-circumstances test
  • Neil v. Biggers: application of the Brathwaite test
state laws on identifications
State Laws on Identifications
  • Massachusetts Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals; the due process clauses of their state constitutions require theautomatic exclusion of unduly suggestive identifications from evidence, however reliable
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court: prohibits showups unless the police lacked probable cause for an arrest or the showup was necessitated by an emergency situation
  • Georgia Supreme Court: juries should not consider the confidence that a witness expresses in his or her identification in evaluating the reliability of an in-court identification
scientific identification
Scientific Identification
  • Frye v. United States: asks whether a scientific technique or approach is “sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs”
  • Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical: asks a judge to study the research and views of experts and to reach his or her own conclusion as to whether a scientific technique will assist the “trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue”
  • in most cases, either approaches will lead to the same result
dna evidence
DNA Evidence
  • applications of DNA in the criminal process
    • used to connect an individual or individuals to various criminal acts
    • includes or excludes an individual as a suspect
    • may establish guilt or innocence at trial
  • concerns with viewing DNA as infallible
dna cont
DNA (cont.)
  • admissibility of DNA evidence
    • DNA was first used in criminal cases in 1986
    • now considered admissible by virtually every state and federal court
    • House v. Bell
    • District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne
  • DNA databases
  • United States v. Kincade, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • exonerating the innocent
polygraph evidence
Polygraph Evidence
  • measures an individual’s physiological responses to questions asked by a trained examiner
  • not generally considered admissible into evidence
  • not viewed as generally accepted by the scientific community
  • has not been established as reliable by federal courts
  • United States v. Scheffer: affirmed the constitutionality of the prohibition on the introduction of polygraph evidence at military courts martial
  • New Mexico