Eyewitness Identification And Eyewitness Fingerprints Essay

826 Words Sep 11th, 2015 4 Pages
Eyewitness testimonies provide crucial evidence in pinpointing the identity of the perpetrator in order to solve a crime, thus the criminal justice system depends upon the accuracy of eyewitness identification to investigate and prosecute criminals. However, eyewitness identification is imperfect and the leading cause of wrongful convictions (Huff, Rattner, & Sagarin, 1996; Scheck, Neufeld, & Dwyer, 2000). One prominent method of eyewitness identification is a line-up procedure during which “A line-up is a procedure in which a criminal suspect (or a picture of the suspect) is placed among other people (or pictures of other people) and shown to an eyewitness to see if the witness will identify the suspect as the culprit in question” (Wells & Olson, 2003).
The original style of line-up was the Simultaneous Line-up (SIM) in which all suspects are presented to the eyewitness at once and the eyewitness responds with the suspect they believe matches the perpetrator (Wells & Olson, 2003). In this condition, the eyewitness will tend to compare line-ups members in order determine which one most closely resembles the criterion for their memory of the perpetrator, a process termed relative judgment (Wells, 1984). Green and Swets’s (1966) signal detection theory (SDT) examines these variations in selection based upon memory criterion, delineating the ability to correctly recognize an old experience (a hit response), and to falsely recognize a new experience as old (a false alarm…

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