News 12.12.07

John Jerome White Cleared by DNA in Atlanta

John Jerome White became the seventh Georgia man to be cleared by DNA evidence yesterday. White was wrongfully convicted in 1980 for the rape and robbery of a 74-year-old woman. DNA from hairs found at the scene excluded White and matched a convicted rapist serving time in a Georgia state prison. That man was arrested Tuesday. In each of the

Georgia cases

, eyewitness misidentification was a factor contributing to the wrongful conviction. White’s case underscores the need to reform identification procedures, said Aimee Maxwell of the

Georgia Innocence Project

which represented White.

Maxwell said her organization is working with state lawmakers and authorities to require all law enforcement agencies to develop and follow clearly written procedures for doing an eyewitness identification with a victim, Maxwell said. The organization says 82 percent of the 355 Georgia law enforcement agencies surveyed do not have any type of written eyewitness standards.

Read the full story

here

. (AP, 12/12/07)

Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA evidence. The Innocence Project advocates reforms that are proven to reduce the incidence of misidentifications. For more information about how eyewitness misidentifications occur and how they can be prevented click

here

.

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