Monday, January 12, 2009

Dallas PD finally launching study of sequential, blind photo lineups

I'd somehow missed a story published in the Dallas News on New Year's Day announcing that the Dallas Police Department is finally beginning its long-awaited study of "sequential, blind" eyewitness ID practices ("After 2 years of delays, study of photo lineups set to start," Jan. 1). Reported the News:

Misidentifications have been cited as a key factor in an estimated 75 percent of the 220 wrongful convictions exposed by DNA testing nationwide since 1989.

The Dallas Police Department, the arresting agency in 13 of the 19 Dallas County exonerations, hopes the study will help determine the best method to keep witnesses from making the wrong choices in a photo lineup.

"We hope to determine what is the best practice and implement policies accordingly," Dallas Police Assistant Chief Ron Waldrop said.

Dallas would become just the eighth police agency in Texas – including Richardson, Lewisville and Haltom City, locally – to use the sequential blind lineup, according to a survey by nonprofit reform group The Justice Project.

Richardson police began using sequential blind lineups after the city had a DNA exoneration in April. Thomas McGowan was incorrectly selected from a simultaneous lineup after a woman was sexually assaulted. He served 22 years in prison after being wrongly convicted in the 1985 burglary and rape.

DPD had earlier announced it would change its policy on "showups" thanks to concerns about misidentification.

3 comments:

FleaStiff said...

Whats with this endless "studying"??

Showing a witness a 'six pack' of photos on one page is more suggestive than showing the witness six photos seriatem.

There is nothing to study.

Jackie Buffalo said...

H e l l o. The study has been done and the results are: Misidentifications have been cited as a key factor in an estimated 75 percent of the 220 wrongful convictions exposed by DNA testing nationwide since 1989.
Let's study what happened in the other 25 %, okay ?

jackiebuffalo.com

Ron in Houston said...

Hopefully a sign that things are changing.