Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rethink Police Procedures to Save Innocent, Convict Guilty

If there is cause to doubt the justice of the execution this week of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia, it stems in part from the fact that seven witnesses recanted after Davis’ trial. A study released Monday provides additional confirmation that rules on eyewitness evidence in criminal trials must change.
The study, co-sponsored by the Innocence Project, the American Judicature Society and the Police Foundation, follows a unanimous decision last month by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which ruled that the state’s procedures for handling eyewitness evidence must be upgraded to reflect the findings of decades of social science research.
As Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote, current rules on eyewitness evidence provide neither “adequate measure for reliability,” nor a sufficient deterrent to “inappropriate police conduct.””

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