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The Champion

May 2017 , Page 16 

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Sources of Contamination in Lineup Identifications

By Brian L. Cutler

Editor’s Note: Professor Brian L. Cutler’s opinions reflect his knowledge of and experience in psychological research on eyewitness identification and are not meant as a legal treatment of eyewitness evidence. Lawyers will find his analysis useful in analyzing eyewitness identification issues in their cases regardless of the state of the law in their jurisdictions.

Eyewitness identification can provide key evidence that the suspect is the perpetrator. Countless crimes have been solved through eyewitness identification. Eyewitness identification, however, is not infallible. Indeed, in about half of known cases of wrongful conviction, at least one — and sometimes more than one — eyewitness mistakenly identified the innocent suspect as the perpetrator.1 Scientific research on human memory, social influence, and eyewitness identification has informed researchers’ understanding of the factors that increase risk of mistaken identification, and these factors are summarized in artic

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