Saturday, June 14, 2014

Kirk Bloodsworth: Al Jazeera America profiles his fight to reform eyewitness identification; (Tune into the latest episode of El Jazeera America's excellent series "The System " tomorrow (Sunday June 15, 2014 at 9E/6P); It's called: "High risks, high stakes."

TV Alert: Tune into Episode 5 of El Jazeera's excellent series "The System" - "Parole: High risks, high stakes,"  premiering Sunday June 15 at 9E/6P; "Always controversial, the role of parole boards have again been called into question in recent years, and swift policy changes have followed. In this episode, we will examine the changing face of parole in Massachusetts and Connecticut and look at a few of the countless lives touched by these gatekeepers of justice: one man’s controversial journey through the Massachusetts department of corrections and another in Connecticut whose future will be decided with help from a new risk assessment tool."
POST: "Former death row inmate becomes "Exhibit A for how eyes can lie," by reporter Caroline Cooper, published by Al Jazeera America on June 11, 2014.

SUB-HEADING:  "Kirk Bloodsworth, the first American death row inmate to be exonerated by DNA evidence, fights to reform eyewitness IDs."

GIST: Catching up with science; "Piles of studies have shown that eyewitness testimony is right only about half the time, nudged or contaminated by certain images and associations or the biases of police. And DNA exonerations have laid bare the central role of eyewitness error in false convictions. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overhaul the system, leaving a handful of concerned states and police forces to tackle the problem. Later that year, for example, the New Jersey Supreme Court instructed judges to tell jurors all the factors that may have muddled the reliability of an eyewitness, and to point out the research that shows identifying someone of a different race is especially prone to inaccuracy. And in April, legislators in Bloodsworth’s home state of Maryland passed a bill, requiring witnesses to state how confident they are in their identification and the police to give witnesses the option of “none of the above.”"

The entire post  can be found at:

See the home page for El Jazeera's excellent "The System" series, at:


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