Buffalo News: A roadmap for fixing the system


Today is the third day in a five-part series of editorials and feature stories on wrongful convictions from the Buffalo News, covering the cases, their causes and critical reforms to prevent future injustice. Today’s editorial focuses on eyewitness misidentification, the leading cause of wrongful conviction overturned by DNA testing.

“For generations, we’ve known that witness identifications are inherently unreliable,” said Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark. The problems are significant, portentous and, at least in some cases, probably insurmountable. But strategies exist that will at least reduce the chance of misidentification in lineups. They are inexpensive and should be adopted quickly.

Misidentification is involved in more than 75 percent of the wrongful convictions overturned through DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project. On reflection, that’s not especially surprising.

Read the full story here

. (Buffalo News, 05/27/08)

Visit the Buffalo News website for the paper’s complete coverage of this issue

, with a feature story, an introductory editorial from Sunday and another from Monday on recording custodial interrogations.

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