Police would have to administer blind eyewitness tests, when possible, if a measure at the statehouse gains approval. That means the tests, such as line-ups, would be done by cops who don’t know who the suspect is. The Innocence Project, a national group that works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, says faulty eyewitness identification plays a role in most convictions overturned with DNA evidence.
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There’s an effective way to curb that trend, though, says Tom Sullivan, a former U.S. attorney. “You use a blind administrator, if it’s practicable to use one. It may be that there isn’t any person in the police station who doesn’t know the suspect, in which case you move to blind methods,” said Sullivan. He supports the measure that would also require the tests to be recorded.
Opposition comes from those who say it would add burdens to small police departments. The measure passed a Senate committee.