National Lawyer's Guild Misidentification Event
Eyewitness (Mis)Identification in Criminal Law:
The Science of What you Perceive and How you Remember It
Thursday, April 18 - 4:30-6:00
Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of convictions overturned through post-conviction DNA testing. It's a clichéd part of every crime drama: a witness points to a suspect and says, "That's him!" But how accurate are eyewitnesses really? How can your perception be affected by outside factors? How accurate is your memory of what you saw, or think you saw? How accurately are victims able to give detailed physical descriptions of their attackers? "Estimator variables" - factors that cannot be controlled by the criminal justice system - include the lighting at the crime scene, the distance from which the witness saw the perpetrator, the race of the witness versus race of the victim (identifications have proven to be less accurate when witnesses are identifying perpetrators of a different race), the presence of a weapon, the degree of trauma during the viewing, and whether the witness has talked with other eyewitnesses or seen news reports of possible suspects.
Join us for an engaging, thought-provoking, and educational interactive workshop with the Innocence Project's Eyewitness Identification Litigation Fellow, Karen Newirth, and introduction by Jonathan Oberman.
Hosted by: Cardozo's National Lawyers Guild (NLG), BLSA, and the Criminal Law Society.