Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Legislative Hearings on Eyewitness ID

Posted by Maggie on September 17, 2007

With all the griping I’ve done lately, it makes me immensely happy to post that the Georgia House of Representatives has created the House Study Committee on Eyewitness Identification Procedures which begins hearings today.

The Georgia Innocence Project also provides a schedule of hearings, including a list of speakers and a link to the AP’s article on Georgia’s current standards.

More after the jump.

The study by the Georgia Innocence Project found that 83% of the nearly 300 police agencies surveyed had no written standards for witness identification. 11% don’t even conduct lineups. 130 agencies didn’t comply with GIP’s FOIA requests.

It looks like the hearings will bring in a wide range of speakers. 6 exonerated Georgians are invited to attend, along with Shareef Cousins, an exoneree from Louisiana who puts on quite an effective presentation. The first hearing today is a general overview. The second addresses police perspectives. The third will look at the science involved. The fourth considers evidentiary issues. Police officers, DA’s, and defense attorneys will be brought in. They’ve even invited law enforcement from around the state to hear the scientific portion of the hearings. Also present at the third meeting is Jennifer Thompson, a witness who wrongly identified her rapist. Here’s a link to an op-ed she wrote in 2000 about her experience. I’ve heard her speak before and she has a fascinating story, especially since she has become close friends with the man she sent to prison. I admire all she’s trying to do to right the wrong she mistakenly did.

And props to the Georgia Innocence Project for getting the word out. (And extending their reach to inmates in Alabama as well.)

One Response to “Legislative Hearings on Eyewitness ID”

  1. […] at Of Counsel writes about Eyewitness ID Reform hearings in the Georgia […]

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