Lord Willoughby, I Presume? 100 Years of Assessing Eyewitness Evidence
Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning Annual Workshop, Edinburgh
10 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2010
Date Written: June 28, 2004
This paper examines police practice and the law relating to eyewitness identification over the past century. In 1904 an inquiry into mistaken identity, and the associated media attention, led directly to the establishment of the Criminal Court of Appeal in England. Much advancement has been made to avoid miscarriages of justice through the use of identity parades, rules and regulations, such as PACE Code D, and judicial warnings such as the Turnbull direction. However, the number of appeals based upon fraught eyewitness evidence persists to this day. Can the perennial problem of inherent human observational error ever be overcome?
Keywords: eyewitness identification, identity, miscarriage of justice
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