Friday, January 23, 2009

Need for eyewitness improvements recognized

Reacting to news that Dallas police will change their policy to require "blind" administration of photo lineups and showing photos one at a time instead of in a group, the Corpus Christi Caller Times editorialized today that, "If blind sequential lineups can reduce eyewitness mistakes, as the studies indicate, then every police department in Texas should be using that procedure."

Sen. Rodney Ellis, readers will recall, has filed SB 117 that would require Texas law enforcement agencies to create or modernize policies on conducting photo lineups - 88% of departments don't have any, and most that do don't conform to current best practices.

In related news, Roy Malpass, an eyewitness identification expert from the University of Texas at El Paso will be allowed to testify in a high-profile Louisiana murder trial whose outcome depends on eyewitness testimony.


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