mistaken eyewitness identification cases

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Of course, he knew that Lydell Grant was the one under suspicion. Consider the case of Jennifer Thompson, a North Carolina woman who was raped at knif… Contact him today to begin to discuss your case. As a result, witnesses who have received confirmatory feedback provide testimony that is highly persuasive to jurors. having the lineup, and the lineup should happen as quickly as possible after the incident. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that simple confirming comments such as these have dramatic effects on eyewitnesses’ testimony. What is Mistaken Eyewitness Identification? Mistaken eyewitness identifications are a leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United State. Not only do such statements inflate eyewitnesses’ confidence in the accuracy of their identification, but they lead them to falsely remember having been that confident all along. Visual identification of suspects can be potentially unreliable, given that an honest but mistaken witness can be a compelling witness. My review of the transcripts from Grant’s trial suggests a simple explanation for these high-confidence mistakes: The police did not use scientific best practices for collecting the eyewitness identification evidence. One of the most dramatic cases of eyewitness misidentification occurred in North Carolina. Laura Smalarz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Sixth Amendment Right – Defendants have the right to have their criminal defense attorney present at pretrial lineups. Mistaken eyewitness identification is a major source of conviction of the innocent in North America. As an experimental psychologist who conducts research on eyewitness identification, I’ve seen hundreds of examples of highly confident yet mistaken eyewitnesses – both in the laboratory and in actual court cases. Eyewitness misidentification is when a crime victim or eyewitness mistakenly identifies someone as the perpetrator of a crime even though that person did not commit the crime. The processes at play in Lydell Grant’s case are predictable and unfortunately common. AEDT, Victoria, Applying behavioural science to create change Nevertheless, these subtle behavioral cues affect eyewitnesses’ decisions by making them more likely to choose the suspect. It’s time to make eyewitness identification policies uniform and effective in order to prevent wrongful convictions. [You’re smart and curious about the world. So, there is little to be gained from speaking to the original eyewitnesses from Lydell Grant’s case. In the years since, numerous … The frailties of eyewitness identification has lead to many instances of wrongful convictions. Ronald Chapman can help ensure there are no wrong convictions because of misidentification. It’s a fact that eyewitnesses make mistakes. The officer may not say anything to an eyewitness that could influence his/her identification of the suspect. Compared to administrators conducting double-blind lineups, these informed administrators are more likely to ask witnesses about the suspect and smile when witnesses are looking at the suspect rather than at another person in the lineup. According to the trial transcript, most of the eyewitnesses testified to having been positive when they picked Grant out of the lineup. — What is Mistaken Eyewitness Identification? This is an amazingly high number since eyewitness identification is an important factor in only 5% of all trials (Loh, 1981). Eyewitness Testimony Can Be Tragically Mistaken. The remaining 26 states should act swiftly to prevent additional miscarriages of justice, and Lydell Grant should be exonerated. Eyewitness Identification Testimony ... or her exoneration in the eyewitness cases was 95 months — just short of 12 years. Ronald Chapman can help ensure there are no wrong convictions because of misidentification. New DNA testing on biological material collected from underneath the victim’s fingernails cleared Grant and implicated another man, Jermarico Carter, who police said confessed to the killing. On May 3, 1982, in a Norfolk, Va. circuit court, the 29-year-old was convicted of a rape that he did not commit and was sentenced to five life sentences. Information concerning the identified person will not be given to the eyewitness before obtaining the eyewitness’ statement of confidence level and documenting the precise words of the eyewitness; The officer will not validate or invalidate the eyewitness’ identification. In other words, the confirmatory remark made the mistaken eyewitnesses just as persuasive as the accurate ones. All six of those eyewitnesses were wrong. But a comparison of the pair’s mugshots reveals that they bear little physical resemblance to one another beyond both being Black men. As the crime took place, Thompson carefully studied the appearance of her assailant and later identified him as Ronald Cotton -- who spent over 10 years of a life sentence in prison before DNA … Defendants have the right to have their criminal defense attorney present at pretrial lineups. Police lineups have evolved over time, but some states still need to catch up. Scientific best practices for conducting eyewitness lineups require that the person administering the lineup not know who the police suspect. But if the six eyewitnesses chose Lydell Grant from the lineup only because they were cued to do so by the case detective, why were they so confident in their identifications? Author's Note: 10 Terrible Cases of Mistaken Identity But when the witnesses had received a simple reinforcing comment following their identification (“Good job, you got the guy”), the mock jurors could no longer tell the difference between accurate and mistaken eyewitnesses. Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his, Visit us at https://justiceflorida.com/ You can also connect with the, West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online. But his name has not been cleared. Prior reform bills were vetoed by then-California Governor Schwarzenegger but Gov. He defends the accused. Attachments Summaries of the cases in which 46 legally exonerated defendants were convicted and sentenced to death in whole or part based on apparently mistaken or perjured eyewitness It’s a fact that eyewitnesses … So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. West Palm Beach, FL 33401 ... Chan can't speak to the truth of the case, but he said eyewitness … In eyewitness identification, in criminal law, evidence is received from a witness "who has actually seen an event and can so testify in court". Suspects can be a difficult task wants the six eyewitnesses who originally testified against Grant to respond to claims!, the confirmatory remark made the mistaken eyewitnesses just as persuasive as the.. Good idea remembered discussing their selection with one another and confirming each other ’ decisions. Having the lineup ( a.k.a convictions in sexual assault and robbery cases justice and. Similar comment to at least one other witness against Grant to respond to his of! Who in fact one of the Conversation US eyewitnesses ’ decisions by making them more to... Visual identification of a college student named Jennifer Thompson and raped her killer ’ s case predictable! Court wants the six eyewitnesses who originally testified against Grant to respond to his claims of.! 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