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Additional info for Evaluating Eyewitness Identification (Best Practices in Forensic Mental Health Assessment)
The opportunity to view the perpetrator and the features of the photoarray test should be the same for each witness. The investigator would systematically manipulate the time delay between the crime and the identification. One group of eyewitnesses might view the photoarray after 1 week, and the other group might view the photoarray after 1 month. After all the data are collected, the investigator can use commonly accepted statistical techniques to determine whether INFO identification accuracy rates vary Three common features of systematically as a function of the laboratory studies are time delay.
The suspect is in the back of the police car or standing by the car in handcuffs). Thus, when witnesses positively identify a suspect from a showup it is unclear whether the witness has an accurate memory of the perpetrator of the crime or whether the witness has made an inaccurate ‘‘guess’’ that the suspect is the perpetrator. Similarly, a lineup consisting of members who are all suspects in the crime presents problems for the interpretation of witnesses’ positive identifications. If witnesses positively identify any of the lineup members in this identification task, the identified lineup member is 17 18 Foundation INFO likely to be charged with and prosecuted for the crime in A lineup should contain no more question.
Intoxication level did not influence false identification rates in the Read et al. study. Although the number of studies examining the effects of intoxication on identificaINFO tion accuracy is small (these are the Alcohol intoxication at the time of only two we could find) and the the crime may negatively impact results are mixed, the much larger the accuracy of eyewitness body of research showing that identifications. alcohol impairs cognitive processing in general (Steele & Josephs, 1990) Empirical Foundations and Limits 47 leads us to conclude that alcohol intoxication is a general impairment factor that decreases the accuracy of eyewitness identifications.