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Words 785
Pages 4
Personal Law Torre Colegrove
Witness Essay 1/19/16

Eye witness identification is very significant in a conviction, it can put a guilty person behind bars or if misidentified, it can put an innocent person behind those same bars. Eye witness misidentification is the greatest contributing factor to wrongful convictions proven by DNA testing, paying a role in more than 70% of convictions overturned through DNA testing nationwide. For instance, in the misidentification of Marvin Anderson, a man wrongfully convicted of a rape, misidentification by the victim caused him to serve fifteen years in prison. Because the rapist had told the victim he had a white girl, the police immediately looked to Marvin as a suspect since he is the only colored man living with a white wife. After the victim chose Marvin’s mugshot out of a dozen black and white mugshots, the police created a line up with Marvin being the only man in it from the mug shots. Although Marvin had an alibi he was convicted and served fifteen brutal years he didn’t deserve in prison. It wasn’t until after DNA had testing proved Marvin wasn’t the rapist that they let him free. This is only one of the many cases that witness misidentification has taken years and even entire lives from innocent people.
To ensure that witness misidentification isn’t a problem many states are considering improving their identification procedures. For instance, Connecticut supreme court reconsiders a murder conviction based on the identification from a witness who was 265 feet away and five stories up from where the crime was committed, the justices are also considering changing rules on witness identification evidence. For more than 35 years, judges have used what is called a balancing test in cases where they find that…...

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