The Champion

March 2007 , Page 43 

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Obtaining Underlying Data From the Illinois Report (Inside NACDL)

By Norman Reimer

Read more Inside NACDL columns.

Mistaken eyewitness identification is now well recognized as a leading contributor to erroneous convictions in the United States. Several years ago, Rene L. Valladares, writing for The Champion, observed that “eyewitness evidence is often fraught with inaccuracies, nevertheless, it has the power of a sledgehammer and it can swiftly put an innocent man behind bars.”1 This month, I am pleased to report that NACDL has commenced litigation to stoke the embers of reform. (See NACDL News, page 6.) 

Fueled by a growing body of research, recent national efforts to reduce the risk of misidentification focus on the adoption of double-blind lineups and sequential viewing. In a double-blind lineup the administrator of the lineup is unaware of the identity of the suspect, and therefore cannot engage in any suggestive behavior, either intentionally or inadvertently. In a sequential lineup, the witness views each individual separately, minimizing the risk of a comparative i

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