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The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...

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Eyewitness Misidentification

Posted by Library Blog on 11/06/2015 at 09:40 AM

A frequently debated issue in criminal law is the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. It is also a particularly interesting topic to research because it relates to science, psychology, criminal justice, and law. Our library contains several resources on this topic, both in digital resources and in our print collection, most notably Elizabeth F. Loftus, James M. Doyle, and Jennifer E. Dysart’s Eyewitness Testimony: Civil and Criminal.

The Criminal Law Reporter (Bloomberg BNA) allows you to identify and track the most recent news and cases on the subject. On November 2, this publication included an article about the U.S. Supreme Court declining to review Louisiana law on this topic: “Eyewitness Identifications Evade High Court Scrutiny”.

Beyond our collection, there are other resources on the internet you might want to consider checking out. Forensic psychologist Scott Fraser has a TED talk on this topic as does Elizabeth F. Loftus, one of the authors of the Eyewitness Testimony: Civil and Criminal. Basic information about eyewitness misidentification can be found on the Innocence Project website as well as on the website for Nature, the International Weekly Journal of Science.

Police lineupFor more information about exonerations, a topic closely related to eyewitness misidentification, you might be interested in the National Registry of Exonerations which provides data on known US exonerations since 1989. For eyewitness misidentification information closer to home, you can review a 2010 report on the Innocence Project website from the Rhode Island Task Force to Identify & Recommend Policies and Procedures To Improve the Accuracy of Eyewitness Identification. If you want to test your own eyewitness identification skills, there is an online test on the website of Iowa State University Professor Gary Wells.