Attacking Eyewitness Identification Testimony

March 14, 2012Articles Criminal Law Reporter
Courts have long acknowledged the dangers inherent in eyewitness identification testimony. "It is widely accepted by courts, psychologists and commentators that '[t]he identification of strangers is proverbially untrustworthy.'" "[T]he single most important factor leading to wrongful conviction in the United States . . . is eyewitness misidentification." Academicians concur, noting that jurors often find eyewitness identification testimony convincing and assume that it is reliable, making eyewitness misidentification the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. As many as half of all wrongful convictions result from false identifications.