American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 58


Used by permission.


For almost 70% of the wrongfully convicted defendants who have been exonerated by new DNA evidence, one or more mistaken eyewitness identifications played a role in their wrongful convictions.1 In recognition of the significant role that mistaken identifications play in miscarriages of justice, social scientists have spent the last 40 years studying which police practices can be improved to increase the reliability of eyewitness identification evidence, including instructions to witnesses,2 selecting fillers (i.e., known innocent persons) for lineups or photo arrays who do not cause the suspect to stand out,3 and eliminating possible feedback from administrators who know which lineup member is the suspect.4 Based on this body of research, the American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS)5 commissioned a panel of eyewitness scholars to review the extant literature and make evidence-based recommendations about the best police practice for enhancing the reliability of eyewitness identification evidence.6