|Manet, A Plum Witness|
The Misidentification comes from two categories of variables:
1. Estimator variables include simple factors like the lighting when the crime took place or the distance from which a witness sees a Defendant, also the amount of stress during a crime because of force used or the presence of firearms or trauma a witness experiences.
2. System variables include how law enforcement officers acquire witness memory including lineups and photo packs.
As you can see the 'system variables' should be controlled by the Criminal Court System. New Jury Instructions in states such as Florida caution Jurors to be wary of Eye Witness identifications made during criminal trials. Yet one of the confounding things I often see is that Florida Law Enforcement Officers are not required to record witness statements nor statements made by Defendants. Often their notes of what was said by witnesses and Defendants are proven to be wrong.
How reliable is Eye Witness testimony as studied not only be lawyers but by psychologists? Here's an excerpt from The Problem of Eye Witness Testimony found in The Stanford Study of Legal Studies:
Clearly Eye Witness testimony should be viewed with a healthy skepticism, because the goal of a criminal trial must be to provide the Defendant with the fairest trial possible and maybe along the way, to even find the truth.