Support Eyewitness Identification Standards to Prevent Wrongful Convictions in South Dakota

Mistaken eyewitness identifications are the leading contributing factor to wrongful convictions and carry significant public safety concerns. False identifications contributed to innocent people losing decades of their freedom while the real perpetrators went undetected. Of the first 375 exonerations based on DNA evidence, the people who actually committed the crimes were subsequently identified in 50% of the cases. While innocent people took their places in prison, these 165 people committed an additional 154 violent crimes.

To prevent misidentifications, the National Academy of Sciences, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the U.S. Department of Justice, and many other organizations have identified four key standards for conducting eyewitness identification procedures. These standards have already been adopted by 27 states, but South Dakota hasn’t taken such action to prevent misidentifications. .

This year, South Dakota’s legislature can make a change by passing Senate Bill 173, championed by the Great North Innocence Project. If passed, the law would ensure these standards are adopted across the state to prevent wrongful convictions. 

Sign up to support passing Senate Bill 173 and help protect South Dakotans from mistaken eyewitness identifications. 

 

This campaign is in partnership with the Great North Innocence Project.

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