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Essay sample - Supreme Court
Pages 4 (1004 words)
The Supreme Court has been involved with the admissibility/suppression topic of eyewitness identification as recent as April, 2006. The most recent case was heard before the Wisconsin Supreme Court re State v Hibl. In this case, a witness accidentally saw the defendant in the court hallway before the trial…
Upon the state's appeal, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals adhered to the suppression ruling in a decision of two-to-one.
The issue in this project deals with witnesses to a crime identifying a suspect prior to in-person identifications. One teller had seen the defendant's arrest on television the night before a photo lineup was scheduled. Another teller had seen the defendants' photo in a newspaper story covering his arrest. And yet another teller was shown a lone picture of the defendant instead of a photo array. A police lineup was never completed.
This presents a case of power of suggestion. In the case of Simmons v US (1968), the US Supreme Court saw the problem of declining accuracy of identification after witnesses had viewed pictures of suspects. The court ruled that seeing a picture may have a detrimental effect on identification accuracy because"the witness is apt to retain in his memory the image of the photograph rather than of the person actually seen" (quoted in Brown, Deffenbachher, & Sturgill, 1977, p. 312)
Eyewitness testimony can be an important tool in the field of justice. However, it can also convict innocent people. In 1991, the percentage was estimated to be at 45% (Loftus & Ketcham, 1991). According to more recent studies, some experts say we are closer to 1% today. ...
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