By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. When she finally chose Cotton, she said, "I think that's him." As noted in our feature article on Alexander McDonnell, no picture of him is known. While gingival cancers can be difficult to detect, survival rates depend on early treatment. But the samples did match the DNA of another convict, Bobby Poole — who, it turned out, had told a fellow inmate he had committed the crime. Is eyewitness identification more reliable than we think? ", Yet law enforcement officers can include anyone in a lineup. 1 Current page. Advancing psychology to benefit society and improve lives, Call for Papers/Proposals/Nominations (43), © 2020 American Psychological Association. If you don't see it please check your junk folder. In the years since, numerous studies have supported that finding. The following information provides an awareness of problems that might be avoided in the future. Representational Image. "Eyewitness identification may be more reliable than we think.". Reports a young AFL player touted as a rising star had been involved in a dramatic car crash caused a stir in Montmorency, until the case of mistaken identity was uncovered. Gronlund, S. D., Wixted, J. T., & Mickes, L. (2014). As the Innocence Project statistics make clear, many eyewitnesses are mistaken, even confident ones. In a recent meta-analysis of studies from around the globe, he and his colleagues found that confirming feedback (such as "Good, you picked the suspect") strongly inflated an eyewitness's confidence in his or her judgments (Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 2014). The above illustration in CHESS , given in C.N. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. The problem, experts say, is in considering what witnesses say on the stand. Much of the recent debate involves lineups — or, more commonly, photo arrays. But if he's not there, they tend to pick somebody else. © 2020 Toronto Sun, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Many people think of memory as a kind of mental YouTube; when you want to recall an event, just find the right link and hit play. 5 Current page. Unlike previous analytical methods, ROC analysis takes into account how confident a witness is at the time he or she picks a suspect from a lineup. ", What emerges is an inaccurate memory that is rich with details that feel very real, says Elizabeth Loftus, PhD, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, well-known for her work on human memory. Mistaken identity. The establishment of a mutually respectful and collaborative relationship between dentists and dental hygienists is key to the provision of high-quality dental care. But in the 1980s, Wells started testing a new method: sequential lineups, in which possible suspects are viewed one at a time rather than all at once. A lawyer asks, "Do you remember if the suspect had pierced ears? Case of mistaken identity 'a total nightmare' for mom of homeless man. In the years since Cotton was exonerated, he and Thompson-Cannino co-authored the 2010 bestselling book "Picking Cotton" about their experience, and have campaigned together to reform eyewitness identification procedures. The next issue of The Toronto Sun Headline News will soon be in your inbox. We also had an incident caused by this similarity. 15 Current page. "What has been described as a success story of psychological research is not looking like it's quite so simple anymore," says Steven E. Clark, PhD, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings. To be sure, there's a widely accepted view in the law that it's better to let the guilty go free than to punish an innocent person. The committee also recommended that lineups and photo arrays be double-blind, so that any officer administering the test doesn't know who the true suspect is. In fact, eyewitness misidentification has played a role in more than 70 percent of wrongfully convicted individuals, according to the Innocence Project, an organization that works to exonerate wrongfully convicted people. Imagine a witness who hesitates when identifying a suspect from a lineup. "It's easily contaminated, and it can fade with time.". Today, one species, Hirudo medicinalis , is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared device that is widely used to help reattached scalps and fingers as they … "It works in certain contexts, but not in a lineup," he says. Kris Erickson, Philip N. Howard, A Case of Mistaken Identity? One night in 1984, a stranger broke into Jennifer Thompson-Cannino's apartment and raped her. In the end, the officers let Mr Khan go and his family claim the episode was a case of mistaken identity. Later, in a photo lineup, she identified Ronald Cotton — a 22-year-old man who looked strikingly like her sketch and had previous run-ins with the law. 4 Current page. From magazine issue: 5 November 2016. If you're able to go above and beyond to help us during this important time, please consider making an additional financial contribution. 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4. 7 Current page. Weir, K. (2016, February). Wells agrees it's crucial for law enforcement officers to pay attention to initial confidence. Bill Boddy Browse pages. But in the last two decades, numerous analyses have converged on the fact that eyewitness confidence is actually a strong indicator of accuracy. 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