End Nebraska’s Ban on Eyewitness ID Experts in its Courtrooms

Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson

Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions overturned with DNA, playing a role in 70% of these cases. The National Research Council and courts across the country have recognized the value in eyewitness identification experts educating jurors about the science of eyewitness memory and factors that can impact the accuracy of identifications.

Nebraska is the only state that bans the use of these experts in court. This year, the state can pass Legislative Bill 766 to protect the innocent. 

Eyewitness identification experts can prevent wrongful convictions of the innocent. For example, Ronald Cotton, was wrongfully convicted of the 1984 rape of Jennifer Thompson in North Carolina based on a misidentification involving flawed police procedures. Ronald spent 10 years in prison before he was exonerated with DNA evidence, and the actual perpetrator went on to rape other women. If an eyewitness identification expert had testified at Ronald’s trial about the problems with law enforcement’s identification procedures, perhaps this tragedy would have been prevented. 

Sign up to support passing LB 766 to lift the ban on eyewitness identification experts in Nebraska. 

 

This campaign is in partnership with the Midwest Innocence Project

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