Sunday, August 28, 2011


Many studies show that eye witness testimony is often not as reliable as the witness believes. 

Now the law is catching up to scientific studies. And at least one Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney believes a recent court opinion should be applied in Tampa Bay Criminal Courts even if it is from the New Jersey Supreme Court. How about a special Florida jurisdiction for what's right? It's certainly persuasive. It cites countless studies and scientific research on how memories work and how testimony can be flawed and how juries can make mistakes. In short, the court held:
The current legal standard for assessing eyewitness identification evidence must be revised because it does not offer an adequate measure for reliability; does not sufficiently deter inappropriate police conduct; and overstates the jury’s ability to evaluate identification evidence. Two modifications to the standard are required. First, when defendants can show some evidence of suggestiveness, all relevant system and estimator variables should be explored at pretrial hearings. Second, the court system must develop enhanced jury charges on eyewitness identification for trial judges to use.
The court is right to look at the suggestiveness of the identification as a factor in reliability. If you need a reliable Clearwater Criminal Lawyer to look at the reliability of a Florida eye witness give me a call.