revamp lineup procedures, story from the Washington Post
Listen to Feb 2005 NPR story on lineups
Read Chicago Tribune story on lineups from February 17, 2005.
Read story from February 7, 2005 Chicago Tribune on lineups
Jury finds FBI framed man in part via eyewitness evidence; January 2005 article
January 5, 2005 article on eyewitness identification from Legal Affairs Magazine
Dec. 8, 2004 Christian Science Monitor article on lineups
Police charge man based on witness identification from photo lineup. But he was dead a year before crime occurred: Associated Press story click here
Boston Police and Prosecutors propose lineup reforms!
Boston Globe article click here
Boston Herald article click here
North Carolina law enforcement moving towards double-blind sequential lineups. Article from Durham, NC News and Observer, June 2004.
Frequently asked questions about eyewitness identification
Scientific American article on lineups, click here
Click to read (April 2003) eyewitness identification article from The Washington Post
Click to read (April 2003) eyewitness identification article from The Economist
Click to read (April 2003) eyewitness identification article from The St. Petersburg Times
Read Newsday article on lineups from February 12, 2003, click here
"Eyewitness Expertise on Trial" article from the ABA Journal (American Bar Association Journal)
New York continues to struggle with issue of lineup reforms: December 10, 2002 Newsday article click here.
Baltimore Sun article on eyewitness identification
USA Today front page article from Nov. 26, 2002 on eyewitness identification procedures click here to view
Oct. 16 story on eyewitnesses in DC area sniper case
CHICAGO TRIBUNE EYEWITNESS STORY SEPT. 2002
NEW: Atlantic Monthly article by Margaret Talbot calls for sequential lineups and blind testing. Click here
The case for improving lineups and ideas on how to facilitate this change.
UK police hold dog lineup!
An analysis of the 100+ DNA exoneration cases click here
Click here to see the Illinois Governor's Commission Recommendations for lineups (they begin with recommendation 10). These are worth reading.
Eyewitness Expert testimony rulings in selected states, click here
See NY Law Journal article (from 4/29/02) describing Staten Island's first sequential lineup (click here)
readers: Click here to download the article that I mentioned in the Champion
Fascinating new (2005) book by James Doyle titled True Witness: Cops, Courts, Science, and the Battle Against Misidentification. Click here for commentary and ordering information.
NEW! From this link you can download several of my published articles.
New experiments show that having eyewitnesses build face composites can damage their ability to make an identification from a lineup. Click here to read manuscript
Memory for People and Events chapter by Wells & Loftus (2003) click here
Article published in Annual Review of Psychology (2003) on eyewitness identification by Wells and Olson, click here to download
Notes on Protocol for Collecting Data on Actual Lineups for Pilot Projects
Did Scott Peterson murder his wife? What is the evidentiary value of an extra-marital affair? (recent article by Wells)
The "Pleading Effect" This is a short section extracted from an upcoming chapter ("Applied Lineup Theory") by Steve Charman and Gary Wells. The pleading effect describes how mistaken identification rates in lineups can translate into very high rates of mistaken identification among cases that go to trial ...
New article in press in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. The article concerns the question of how the speed with which eyewitnesses make their identifications relates to the accuracy of the identifications...
The Psychology of Alibis: A taxonomy. This article was published recently in Law and Human Behavior. Click here to view
Article on the distorting effects of feedback on eyewitnesses (Wells, Olson, & Charman, 2003) published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Article on best practices in constructing and conducting lineups, click here
Click here to download a PDF version of the Wells & Olson "Information Gain" article published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 2002.
2002 article reports experiment showing lineup feedback harms accuracy-confidence relation (Bradfield, Wells, & Olson, Journal of Applied Psychology) View article here
Wells and Bradfield eyewitness article published in Psychological Science, click here.
Page proofs for a new article on eyewitness confidence to be published in Current Directions in Psychological Science
From the Lab to the Police Station: This is an article published in American Psychologist regarding the role of psychology in developing guidelines for eyewitness evidence. Click here
What is wrong with the Manson v. Braithwaite (1977) test of eyewitness identification evidence? Plenty. Click here
Ken Patanaude, of the Northampton, MA Police Department just published this article regarding their adoption of double-blind, sequential lineups.
Prestigous North Carolina Commission makes recommendations to change lineup procedures!
Story 1 click here Story 2 click here
The National Institute of Justice has now released its eyewitness training manual for law enforcement. I co-chaired the identification section. The Manual is not perfect, and it represented a compromise, but this manual can be quite useful for police trainers. Use this address to view and download: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/eyewitness/188678.html
NEW! Minnesota departments try new lineup procedures
June 2003 Wall Street Journal story, click here
Have a video viewer? Click here to take the Wells eyewitness test
No video viewer? take this one instead click here
Click HERE to download the Department of Justice Guide for the Collection and Preservation of Eyewitness Evidence
NEW Texas judge sees merit in proposed lineup reforms; click here
Click here to read a 30 May, 2002 article from the Christian Science Monitor on lineups.
Canadian Judge Rules That Lineup Should Have Been Conducted Using Blind Procedure! (click here)
Drivers' licenses being used to construct photo lineups; click here
Chicago police so readily believe eyewitness identification that they charged a filler with murder! click here
click for additional photos
Click HERE to read an article on eyewitness identification published in the APA Monitor
|Expert Testimony on Eyewitness Issues||For those interested in expert testimony or consulting on eyewitness issues, please read this expert services information page.|
|The incredible identification of Charles Huchting: The half-hour recognition judgment. Click here!|
|DNA to the rescue:
When an innocent suspect is identified by a confident eyewitness as being
the perpetrator of a crime, there may be little to keep that person from
being convicted. Once convicted, there is little hope for later exoneration.
Since the advent of forensic DNA evidence, however, some people who were
mistakenly identified by eyewitnesses and convicted by juries have been
released from prison because the newly-analyzed DNA evidence proved that
they did not commit the offense. Under the aegis of the National
Institute of Justice, a study was made of 28 cases of wrongful conviction.
Click here to read this report titled "Convicted by juries: Exonerated by Science".
|Notice: A review of scientific research on eyewitnesses
has resulted in a set of guidelines for how lineups and photo spreads should
be constructed and conducted. You can download this document. See panel
to the right.
||In 1996, the American Psychology/Law Society appointed a committee to prepare a white paper reviewing the scientific evidence on eyewitness identification and describing rules for how lineups and photo spreads should be conducted. This paper, authored by Gary Wells, Mark Small, Steve Penrod, Roy Malpass, Sol Fulero, and Elizabeth Brimacombe, was published in the journal Law and Human Behavior in December 1998. The following link takes you to the text of this paper: Scientific Review of Lineups paper, click here.|
|Tired of reading? Want to sit back
and hear some interesting things about the reliability of eyewitnesses?
If you have Real player 2.0 or higher (which allows you to listen to audio
over your computer), then you will want to check out this story that was
broadcast on NPR (National Public Radio) in June 1998. Simply click here:
eyewitnesses story broadcast on NPR"
If you do not have Real player,
use the following download site and save the Real player program on your
hard drive at no cost.
|Flashback 1968 image|
|EYEWITNESSES TO CRIME: THE PHENOMENON OF MISIDENTIFICATION|
Although psychological scientists have been studying human memory for over 100 years, not until the mid 1970's that a focus was directed to eyewitness memory. The importance of such research is easily substantiated because mistaken identification is the largest single cause of false conviction, accounting for more criminal convictions of innocent people than all other causescombined (see Wells, Small, Penrod, Malpass, Fulero, & Brimacombe, 1998).
My eyewitness research program was launched in 1974 while still a graduate
student. It is directed at discovering the causes of mistaken
identification from police lineups and photo spreads with a particular
emphasis on how to prevent these errors. Numerous successful interventions
have been developed, such as:
|Click here to
get to ISU's home page