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A Second Look at the Illinois Pilot Program: The Evanston Data
By Nancy Steblay
Recent years have seen a convergence of scientific findings and legal policy regarding eyewitness evidence. Eyewitness scientists have provided a context for better understanding of the eyewitness error that permeates DNA-exoneration cases.1 Furthermore, memory principles established in the laboratory have produced empirically based guidelines for procedural changes that can enhance the accuracy of eyewitness evidence. These recommendations have focused on police lineups, the identification task that has the potential to secure weighty evidence about a suspect’s criminal culpability. Among the recommendations for improved lineup practice are that each lineup — photo or live — be administered double-blind (often simply called “blind”) and that the lineup be presented sequentially (one at a time) rather than in the traditional simultaneous (all at one time) format.2
A number of jurisdictions have implemented the double-blind sequential lineup as a means to gain greater confidence in eyew
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