Innocence Blog

Eyewitness reforms gain momentum nationwide

Posted: April 20, 2007




Eyewitness identification was a factor in more than 75 percent of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA testing. This legislative session, 16 bills including eyewitness identification reforms were introduced in a dozen states. One, in West Virginia, has been passed and is awaiting the governor’s approval. Ezekiel Edwards, Innocence Project staff attorney/Mayer Brown eyewitness fellow, told the National Law Journal that DNA exonerations have helped drive interest in these reforms.

Whether the pending bills pass or not, Edwards said there is definitely more activity now, which he attributed to wrongful convictions.

"They allow us to kind of look back at the cases as a collective and see what went wrong and the overreaching answer is eyewitness identification," said Edwards, who recently testified in favor of West Virginia's bill.

Read the full story here. (National Law Journal, 4/20/07)
What do these reforms include? Click here to learn more about blind sequential lineups and more in our Fix The System section.

Read about pending reforms in Texas and California and the West Virginia reforms that were recently approved by the legislature.




Tags: Eyewitness Identification