Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NJ Chief Justice Comments on Eyewitness Identification Guidelines

Mary Ann Spoto N.J. Supreme Court imposing sweeping changes in crime witness testimony Star-Ledger (July 23, 2012).

Snippets from the article:

After Labor Day, judges will be required to give jurors plenty of precautions before they consider the testimony they heard during trials.
For example, jurors will be told: "Human memory is not foolproof. Research has revealed that human memory is not like a video recording that a witness need only replay to remember what happened. Memory is far more complex ... Eyewitness identification must be scrutinized carefully."
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said the new instructions to jurors will discourage actions that could help put the wrong person behind bars.
"These charges will deter practices that can lead to misidentification," Rabner told The Star-Ledger. "The charges are critically important to the eyewitness identification process and give detailed guidance to juries that will allow them to assess the evidence and decide how much weight to give the evidence they heard."


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