Eyewitness testimony and identification

The CAAF recently decided United States v. Baker, an Article 62 appeal of an MJ’s ruling suppressing an identification.

There is quite a bit of legitimate research indicating that even 12 bishops might give an erroneous identification of a suspect either in witness interviews or through an out of court identification (photo or lineup).  For a current example: 

The Supreme Court has previously ruled that the due process clause requires judges to exclude at least some eyewitness testimony based on unreliability, the New York Times reports. The new case, Perry v. New Hampshire, seeks more specifics about the kinds of identifications warranting a closer look. Do due process protections apply to all eyewitness IDs made under suggestive circumstances? Or just those IDs made when the suggestive circumstances were orchestrated by police?

According to the Times, eyewitness IDs play a big role in wrongful convictions.

CrimProfBlog has this post about NJ.   The NJ Supreme Court opinion is about 135 pages long and well worth the read.

The Supreme Court has an interesting case on the docket.

Perry v. New Hampshire No. 10-8974.  The court will hear argument on 2 November 2011.

Issue: Do the due process protections against unreliable identification evidence apply to all identifications made under suggestive circumstances or only when the suggestive circumstances were orchestrated by the police?

Plain English Issue: In a criminal case, is a court required to exclude eyewitness identification evidence whenever the identification was made under circumstances that make the identification unreliable because they tended to suggest that the defendant was responsible for the crime, or only when the police are responsible for the circumstances that make the identification unreliable?

Briefs and Documents

Merits Briefs

Amicus Briefs

Certiorari-stage documents

Links courtesy of SCOTUSBlog

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