Testing Jurors' Understanding of Eyewitness Reliability Evidence

October 3, 2014

Wall Street Journal
Eyewitness reliability study: The National Academy of Sciences released a groundbreaking report that provides strong scientific confirmation about the reliability of eyewitness identifications: They’re not nearly as reliable as we’d like to think.

eyewitness reliability—or, in the case of jurors, the chance to learn how to make ..

Put another way, under 's ruling, a judge cannot simply decide that expert testimony on eyewitness reliability is inadmissible. The judge must decide the issue case-by-case.

Philadelphia Court Allows Expert Testimony on Eyewitness Reliability

Eyewitness Reliability Expert Witness Testimony Improperly Excluded Under Dyas Standard Expert testimony about eyewitness reliability certainly seems to fit the bill. Indeed, the very reason why defense attorneys want to introduce such evidence is that jurors' day-to-day experience will lead them to give too much weight to eyewitness testimony.

Sex Differences, Weapon Focus, and Eyewitness Reliability

Expert testimony on eyewitness reliability, then, seems not just to be outside jurors' day-to-day experience, but to helpfully controvert misimpressions jurors might gather from that experience.

DA McNamara pushes for more eyewitness reliability


New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney, urging the court to uphold the theft conviction, said identification evidence should be specially reviewed by a judge only when police obtained the ID through an unnecessarily suggestive police method — for example, in photos shown to a witness. The federal government and 29 states are siding with New Hampshire, urging the high court to leave the question of eyewitness reliability generally to a jury.Ultimately, however, this uneasy state of affairs may be the best we can do. The New York Court of Appeals was understandably reluctant to mandate a side-trial on eyewitness reliability in virtually every case tried in the New York courts. Nor, given the stark facts about eyewitness unreliability, could the Court of Appeals approve a blanket rule of inadmissibility. Such a ruling would have led to injustice in many cases that are based largely on eyewitness testimony.