Eyewitness Identification Reform in Michigan
The Michigan Bar Association convened a task force, composed of judges, sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, to make recommendations on ways to improve eyewitness identification procedures. In 2012 the task force issued a policy writing guide that included evidence-based practices consistent with those put forward by the National Academy of Sciences. Law enforcement agencies were encouraged to adopt written protocols that comport with the policy writing guide and were also offered training in the new scientifically-supported protocols. Since then, law enforcement agencies covering over 80% of the state’s population have implemented policies that include: blind administration; proper filler, on non-suspect, lineup members; proper witness instructions; witness confidence statements; and a recommendation that lineups be video/audio recorded.