Supreme Court to Take Another Look at Identifications


The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in November in a case hinging on the role of judges in examining eyewitness identification evidence. New York Times columnist Adam Liptak

writes in today’s Times

that this will be the first time the justices take a hard look at eyewitness identifications since 1977.

Although the case before the Supreme Court may be limited in its scope, Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck tells Liptak that the case points to the larger issues surrounding misidentification.

Scheck…said that what is needed in this area is a new “legal architecture,” one in which judges play an authentic gatekeeping role.

He pointed to a pioneering report last year from a special master appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The special master, Geoffrey Gaulkin, suggested that memory should be treated “as a form of trace evidence: a fragment collected at the scene of a crime, like a fingerprint or blood smear, whose integrity and reliability need to be monitored and assessed from the point of its recovery to its ultimate presentation at trial.”

Read Liptak’s column


Read more about the case before the Supreme Court,

Perry v. New Hampshire


Download the Innocence Network’s brief in the case


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