Manson V. Brathwaite Revisited: Towards a New Rule of Decision for Due Process Challenges to Eyewitness Identification Procedures
40 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2006 Last revised: 28 Dec 2011
Date Written: 2006
A major cause of wrongful convictions is mistaken eyewitness identification. The leading Supreme Court case governing due process challenges to identification procedures, Manson v. Brathwaite, is almost 30 years old, and does not account for decades of social science research on eyewitness identification. In fact, parts of the Manson test designed to ensure reliability run counter to research findings. In this piece, O'Toole and Shay describe the problems with the Manson test, and, drawing on a theoretical framework introduced by Professor Mitchell Berman and employed by Professor Kermit Roosevelt, propose a new rule of decision for due process challenges to identification procedures.
Keywords: eyewitness, identification, Manson
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