Welcome to this new episode of: Light ‘Em Up! We are now being heard in 93 countries! Thank you!
On this explosive episode, we shine the “light of the truth“ on Eyewitness Mistaken Identifications.
From behind the one-way mirrored glass in a dimly lit room in the precinct police station, the police detective (or line-up administrator) has just given you these instructions:
“Turn to the right, turn to the left, step forward, step backward.” This is the opening scene in your personal nightmare. You’ve just been identified – mistakenly – in the commission of a major felony, and arrested. As this nightmare unfolds in front of your very own eyes, the horror continues: You go to trial, are wrongly convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for a crime you did not commit.
Trust in the fact that this happens more often than a person may care to know.
Mistaken identifications in a criminal justice setting are a leading factor in wrongful convictions and are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in sexual assault and robbery cases.
Let’s not be naïve nor be in denial about the facts – while African Americans make up only about 13% of the U.S. population, they represent a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated.
People wrongfully convicted are exonerated for a variety of reasons: Official misconduct, perjury, false forensic evidence, false confessions, etc. By far the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide is eyewitness error.
An eyewitness could be 100% confident and still be 100% wrong. Two exonerees were condemned to death and their sentences were carried out.
We delve into:
● the definition of an “in-custody eyewitness lineup” and explore the “procedural safeguards” (that prior to 1967 did not exist) in order to protect defendants from erroneous conviction resulting from mistaken eyewitness identifications.
● best-practice solutions as to how to protect suspects and defendants from the devastating and life-changing consequences of mistaken eyewitness identification.
●to educate and empower you, we have painstakingly “cleaned up” and digitally re-mastered a portion of the original oral argument from U.S. v Wade (1967), argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The landmark decision established 5th & 6th Amendment privileges of the right against self-incrimination and the right to counsel as it pertained to in-custody eyewitness lineups.
● we’ve itemized the 5 step “model lineup procedure” and discuss the traditional eyewitness identification practices and problems with the process. Would it surprise you to hear that the NYPD uses Adobe Photoshop to “doctor” its in-custody “filler” photos?
In order to continue to be a voice to the voiceless – we probe this perplexing issue that the Supreme Court has been grappling with for more than half of a century.
You, I, anyone can be arrested. Jesus was arrested. Just because you were arrested – doesn’t mean you committed the crime. You’ve been “fingered” in a lineup, now what will you do? Know your rights – before you’re “railroaded” for a crime you didn’t commit.
We’d like to thank our friends at Feedspot, as recently we were honored by being ranked #10 in their most recent poll out of the 40 Best Criminal Justice Podcasts. Visit their blog at www.Feedspot.com or simply follow this link: Best 40 Criminal Justice Podcasts You Follow in 2022 (feedspot.com)
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Phil Rizzo, Executive Producer