Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dashawn Revels: Connecticut; His case is prompting the state supreme court to rethink its approach to eyewitness identifications. Story points out that "flaws" in the current test used to determine whether to allow eyewitness identifications as evidence have been revealed by scientific research. Associated Press;

STORY:  "New London case prompts state court to rethink witness ID test,"  by reporter Dave Collins, published by Associated Press on February 9, 2014;

GIST:" Before Dashawn Revels was convicted of murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison in 2011, a Connecticut judge allowed the jury to hear testimony from a witness for the prosecution who saw the shooting at night from 265 feet away in her fifth-floor apartment. The witness, Fidelia Carrillo, didn't see the shooter's face but identified Revels as the killer later the same night, when New London police drove her by Revels and shined the cruiser spotlight on him as officers detained him. She said he was wearing the same clothes as the killer. Two years later in a courtroom, Carrillo misidentified an intern from the public defender's office as the shooter as he sat next to Revels during a hearing on whether to allow Carrillo's identification as evidence. The state Supreme Court is now mulling whether Revels' murder conviction should be overturned. But the justices are taking the case a step further by considering whether Connecticut should join other states and abandon a balancing test created by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1977 and used by judges nationwide to determine whether to allow eyewitness identifications as evidence. Flaws in the test have been revealed by scientific research over the past three decades that shows how unreliable eyewitness identifications can be, and the result is judges are using a bad method to decide when to admit identifications into evidence, defense lawyers and psychologists say. "There's growing indication that eyewitness identifications can be problematic," Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer said in December when the court heard Revels' appeal, which is one of three cases in which the court is considering witness identification issues."

The entire story can be found at:


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