Eyewitness Identification Essay

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Eyewitness identification is ineffective and unjust. Studies have shown that 40% of eyewitness identifications are wrong (Vrij, 1998). Eyewitness identification has great importance in the legal system. This requires the best eyewitness testimony procedure. This essay examines the three main types of eyewitness line-ups; the showup, the sequential and the simultaneous line-up. This essay draws conclusions as to which method the legal system should implement.
The showup is a suggestive procedure. A show-up is an identification procedure in which, the police present a single suspect to an eyewitness, then ask the eyewitness whether the suspect is the perpetrator. The showup is suggestive because the witness views the suspect, whilst the suspect are in police custody. (Behrman & Vayder, 1994). According to United States vs, Funches (1996) eyewitnesses believe that when an officer presents a suspect for …show more content…

For target absent line-ups, the sequential condition wrongly identified the suspect 18.3% of the time; compared with 35.0% for the simultaneous condition. Using a target present line-up, participants in the sequential condition identified the suspect 50% of the time. In the simultaneous condition, participants identified them correctly 58%.
Each line-up procedure affects the decisions of eyewitnesses. The show-up method is the least effective at correctly identifying suspects. They present suspects to witnesses, whilst in police custody. In addition, the time taken can drastically increase the rate of misidentifications. Therefore, they are not how eyewitness testimonies should be conducted. In the simultaneous line-up, witnesses overestimate their ability to make an identification, resulting in misidentifications. This is due the nature of judgements, promoted by the simultaneous line-up, relative

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