Three weeks after exoneree Dennis Maher joined the Innocence Project at the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee to testify in favor of proposed reforms to help combat wrongful convictions, a
op-ed authored by Innocence Project Policy Analyst Daniella Henry underscored the importance of legislation that will improve eyewitness identification procedures and help prevent false confessions.
S.184 and S.297 not only benefit the innocent, but law enforcement as well. Reforms to lineup procedures can help reduce the amount of valuable time and resources lost pursuing the wrong individual following a misidentification. Similarly, recording interrogations can protect police against allegations of police misconduct, and free investigators to focus on the details of an interrogation, rather than writing up a meticulous account of the statements provided by a suspect. Overburdened courts, moreover, will no doubt welcome a huge reduction in defense motions to suppress unrecorded statements and confessions as well as pretrial and trial hearings focused upon establishing what transpired during the course of an interrogation.