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NCJ Number: 220940 Find in a Library
Title: Tripartite Solution to Eyewitness Error
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:97  Issue:3  Dated:Spring 2007  Pages:807-872
Author(s): Richard A. Wise; Kirsten A. Dauphinais; Martin A. Safer
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 66
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper presents a comprehensive solution to eyewitness error, the tripartite solution.
Abstract: Eyewitness testimony plays a role in over half of all wrongful convictions. Many eyewitnesses have great difficulty making accurate identifications of perpetrators of crimes. In addition, current procedural safeguards are inadequate to prevent wrongful convictions from eyewitness error. Based on over 30 years of extensive scientific research on eyewitness testimony, a comprehensive, practical solution was developed to eyewitness error, the tripartite solution which involves (1) permitting expert testimony when the primary or sole evidence against the defendant is eyewitness testimony, (2) improving procedures for collecting eyewitness evidence by conducting eyewitness interviews and identification procedures in a manner consistent with best practices, and (3) educating the principal participants in the criminal justice system about eyewitness testimony to sensitize them to the effects of eyewitness factors. The tripartite solution provides judges, attorneys, law officers, and jurors with a conceptual framework for understanding and evaluating eyewitness testimony and gives practical suggestions in the form of 10 guidelines for attorneys to use when either supporting or attacking the reliability of eyewitness testimony. This paper serves as a blueprint for the reforms that the criminal justice system must institute to significantly reduce eyewitness error.
Main Term(s): Eyewitness testimony
Index Term(s): Convictions; Eyewitness memory; Suspect identification; Witness credibility; Wrongful conviction
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