The Baltimore Police Department will improve its eyewitness identification procedures by implementing a new double-blind sequential photo array measure.
The Baltimore Sun
reported that under the new procedure, witnesses will be presented with photos one at a time by an administrator who does not know who the suspect is. The police department’s current practice is to show a witness six pictures at once.
According to a recent field study conducted by the American Judicature Society, the double-blind sequential technique is proven to dramatically reduce eyewitness misidentification. The results of the study show that when witnesses view a group of pictures at once, they may end up picking out the face of who most resembles their memory of the suspect even if it’s wrong.
Implementation of this method is supported by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.
More about identification reform
In light of the National Academy of Science’s 2014 report, ”
Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification,
” the Innocence Project awaits further research concerning the merits of the sequential and simultaneous presentation methods.