STUDIES: Eyewitness Identification Procedure in Texas

A new study concerning criminal justice procedures in Texas has been released by the Justice Project. Their research found that only 12% of Texas law enforcement agencies have any written policies or guidelines for the conduct of photo or live lineup procedures. Furthermore, they discovered that the few existing written procedures are often vague and incomplete. Eighty-two percent of Texas’ 38 wrongful convictions exposed by DNA testing, which includes non-capital cases, were based largely or exclusively on incorrect eyewitness identifications.

Overall, the study found that most jurisdictions in Texas fail to implement widely endorsed best practices that have been proven to increase reliability of eyewitness testimony. Only 7% or less of all Texas departments have written policies in line with such endorsed best practices designed to minimize eyewitness error.

The Justice Project is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that works to improve the fairness and accuracy of the criminal justice system. The full research report may be found here.

(The Justice Project, “Eyewitness Identification Procedure in Texas,” November 2008). See also Studies and Innocence.

AttachmentSize
Image icon texasseal.jpg62.47 KB