Monday, August 29, 2011

Your lyin' eyes

The New Jersey Supreme Court is revamping the admissibility of eyewitness identifications in criminal trials. The decision is here; remarkably, it's unanimous (130+ pages of unanimity). No time to read all that right now, but here's a quote from the syllabus:
The Court directs that enhanced instructions be given to guide juries about the various factors that may affect the reliability of an identification in a particular case. Those instructions are to be included in the court’s comprehensive jury charge at the close of evidence. In addition, instructions may be given during trial if warranted. Expert testimony may also be introduced at trial, but only if otherwise appropriate. The Court anticipates, however, that with enhanced jury instructions, there will be less need for expert testimony. To help implement this decision, the Court asks the Criminal Practice Committee and the Committee on Model Criminal Jury Charges to draft proposed revisions to the current charge on eyewitness identification and submit them to this Court for review before they are implemented.
Will other states follow?

(Via Drum.)

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