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The Champion

April 2010 , Page 7 

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Removing a Roadblock to Reform (Inside NACDL)

By Norman L. Reimer

Read more Inside NACDL columns.

Three years ago, NACDL filed a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit to compel the Chicago, Evanston, and Joliet police departments to release the underlying data relating to the design and implementation of an Illinois study that has impeded eyewitness identification reform. NACDL recently won a major victory in the case.1 

In the March 2007 issue of The Champion, this column discussed how the Illinois study cast doubt on the efficacy of sequential double-blind identification procedures.2 A growing body of research shows that the use of these procedures reduces the risk of misidentification, one of the leading causes of wrongful conviction. In a double-blind lineup the administrator of the lineup is unaware of the identity of the suspect, and therefore cannot engage in suggestive behavior, either intentionally or inadvertently. In a sequential lineup, the witness views each individual separately, minimizing the risk that the witness will make a comparative identification, selecti

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