In the last three years, dozens of states have considered bills to reform eyewitness identification procedures and prevent wrongful convictions. So far this year, Kentucky is one of six states considering such a proposal. A bill introduced by Kentucky State Rep. Kathy Stein would require law enforcement agencies to change the way they conduct lineups – they would present participants simultaneously and the witness would give a statement assessing their confidence in the identification. (For more detail on these reforms, visit our
eyewitness identification page
And although Kentucky’s bill is unlikely to be passed this year, advocates say they are laying groundwork for reforms in future legislative sessions. Dozens of law enforcement agencies around the country have reported that reforms have improved the way they investigate crimes.
Margie Long, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach, Va., Police Department, said the recommendations were adopted three years ago and have improved police work by taking away bias in putting together photo lineups.
"We've added a great deal of credibility to our line-up process," Long said.
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. (Associated Press, 03/25/08)