Good article here addressing the flawed and unreliable practice of eyewitness identification procedures and what changes are being done to correct this after decades worth of research.
The idea that human memory is frail and suggestible has gradually gained acceptance among leaders in law enforcement, buttressed by more than 2,000 scientific studies demonstrating problems with witness accounts and the DNA exonerations of at least 190 people whose wrongful convictions involved mistaken identifications. About 75,000 witness identifications take place each year, and studies suggest that about a third are incorrect.
Although NJ’s Supreme court is taking this bull by the horn and implementing the changes, some jurisdictions are lagging. For instance, this doesn’t bother Sgt. Cassidee Carlson, a Police Department spokeswoman, in Aurora, Colorado who seems to have a caviler approach saying “…the department had no written policy and did not follow the National Justice Institute guidelines because there was no state mandate to do so.” Pro-activeness and preventive measures? Not here!
For now, everybody’s satisfied,” Sergeant Carlson said. “This is the system we have in place, and it works with our court system.
You’d think the worst thing that could happen is the trouble of learning an effective procedure that protects innocent people as well as the integrity of the police.
In NY, 15 people have been exonerated for eyewitness misidentification.