Missouri Legal Update

2021 Lesson 22: Eyewitness Identifications

Technical

2021 Lesson 22: Eyewitness Identifications

Technical

Release Date: 

8/1/2021

This lesson online technical skills lesson is designed to enhance an officer’s understanding of the factors that contribute to reliable and unreliable eyewitness identifications. The lesson analyzes cases involving eyewitness misidentifications. It examines common witness identification practices and the legal requirements for admitting witness identification evidence. The lesson explains what factors outside of police control—such as witness stress, memory decay, etc.—affect witness reliability. It also examines what factors within police control—such as blind administration, pre-identification instructions, etc.—affect witness reliability. Finally, the lesson provides extensive guidelines from the United States Department of Justice on best practices in photo array identification procedures.