Common Methods of Identifying a Suspect Most law enforcement agencies continue to use “line-ups” for witness identification. Some consider this the most reliable method of suspect identification available to them, and reserve these procedures for their most serious cases. The process takes time and effort, after all. Police officers must gather “fillers”, who are the additional people standing in the line-up when a witness attempts to identify a suspect. Often, and surprisingly even in very serious cases, police will simply print […]

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Many people (jurors) assume confessions are a reliable indication of guilt. That makes confessions a very important aspect of a criminal case. Because so many jurors will simply accept a confession as true, presenting unreliable confessions to juries results in innocent people going to prison. We know this is true, and there is every indication that it continues to happen. In fact, of DNA exonerations studied by the Innocence Project, more than 1 out of 4 of those convicted and […]

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Bite Mark Evidence Is Still Getting It Wrong – But Courts Are Fine with That

Bite mark evidence impressed many in the 1970s and 1980s. As an early example, bite marks received plenty of attention during the trial of Ted Bundy. Prosecutors fell in love with the idea that a positive and reliable match between dental records and physical evidence on a victim’s body could be the key to  getting their conviction. Many of them still readily accept that the evidence […]

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