More on this after the holiday, when I can go over it in detail and consult with folks who know more about such things than me. But I'm glad to see sequential presentation included, and pleased to see the process moving along on schedule.
Local Texas law enforcement agencies that do lineups or photo arrays must have detailed written policies in place by September 2012 governing how they're performed, and I suspect many will just adopt LEMIT's model policy and (one hopes) begin training on it. (At most departments, currently, lineup procedures may differ from detective to detective, with no written policies governing them.) As such, LEMIT's model will be critically important in setting a benchmark for what should be in those local policies. Given that mistaken eyewitness IDs account for 75-80% of false convictions, the statute is a big step forward.
See related Grits posts:
- Public hearing on eyewitness ID model policy
- Will new Texas eyewitness ID law reduce false convictions?
- Onus on state, local departments to improve eyewitness testimony
- Court of Criminal Appeals: Trial court abused its discretion by disallowing eyewitness ID expert
- Model policy under development on eyewitness ID procedures
- Slow but steady progress toward improving eyewitness identification
- How much do eyewitnesses really see?
- Eyewitnesses and the 'feeling of knowing'
- Eyewitnesses in staged test only 8% accurate
- More on the fallibility of eyewitness testimony
- Eyewitnesses miss big changes in their environment, like the person in front of them
- Study: 88% of police and sheriffs have no written policy on eyewitness ID procedures, even fewer follow best practices
- Why Carl Reynolds would make a lousy witness