Friday, September 7, 2007

Criminal Justice Reform -- Civil Suit in the Duke case

Information leaked to the media indicates the 3 Duke players have proposed a settlement with the city of Durham that includes a payment of about $10 million to each of the three players over 5 years AND reforms in the legal process.

The attorneys are seeking the creation of ombudsman positions to review complaints of misconduct about North Carolina district attorneys, and they want Durham city officials to lead the lobbying for any legal changes that would require action by the state's General Assembly, the person said.

Incorrect eyewitness identification was a major factor in the Duke case. The Innocence Project has identified the problems with eyewitness identification and the reforms needed:

The most common element in all wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA evidence has been eyewitness misidentification. Misleading lineup methods have been used for decades without serious scrutiny. Now is the time for change.

Despite solid proof of the inaccuracy of traditional methods – and the availability of simple measures to reform them – eyewitness IDs remain among the most common and compelling evidence brought against criminal defendants.

Misidentifications don’t only threaten the innocent, they also derail investigations. While police focus on finding evidence against an innocent person, the perpetrator can get away.

Read about the recommended reforms, and which jurisdictions have already made reforms . . .

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