Florida public defender proposes identification reform
Almost 20 years ago, Larry Bostic was convicted in Florida of a rape he didn’t commit after the victim identified him in a photo lineup. He was exonerated this year when DNA evidence proved his innocence, and a new investigation of the crime uncovered shocking news about the misidentification – the victim never saw the perpetrator. She told investigators this year that she had identified Bostic because she knew she had seen him around the neighborhood days before the attack.
In the wake of Bostic’s exoneration, Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein sent a letter last week to area law enforcement urging them to consider reforming their eyewitness identification policies. Eyewitness identification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing.
"These procedures will impact the human cost of misidentification," (Finkelstein) said. "This isn't about pointing the finger at law enforcement. This is about making sure the methodology and the systems we employ are designed so innocent people don't get ensnared in our system."
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. (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 10/29/2007)
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