We have all seen the movies where the police officers lineup the suspects in the precinct. Eager to get “their man,” the cops influence the poor, confused eyewitnesses’ identification process and the cops get exactly the result they were looking for. As a sex crime defense attorney in Tampa, our law firm knows that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
If you have been wrongfully accused of a sex crime, your reputation may already be ruined by misidentification. If you have been accused of a crime you did not commit, please contact a sexual assault defense attorney in Tampa. If you are not in need of a sex crime defense attorney in Tampa at this time, please feel free to educate yourself on one of the newest laws put into practice that should, hopefully, assist with preventing wrongful convictions in the future.
The Problem with the Lineup System
Studies have proven that mistaken eyewitness identifications led to over 70 percent of the wrongful convictions in the United States judicial system. These wrongful convictions were eventually reversed by DNA evidence post-conviction; however, for many of the wrongfully accused, the overturned sentencing was simply too late. Despite the proven inaccuracy of the lineup system practice, eyewitness identifications remain as one of the most common procedures performed at police precincts.
New Reform Act Hopes to Change That
In June 2017, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a criminal justice reform bill that is designed to prevent further wrongful convictions. The Eyewitness Identification Reform Act was officially introduced into the legal system in October 2017. Sponsored by Senator Dennis Baxley and Representative Gayle Harrell, according to the Florida State Senate website, the law mandates that “state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agencies that conduct lineups to follow specified procedures” and “create educational materials and provide training programs on how to conduct lineups.”
Hopefully, this new law will provide some preventive measures for law enforcement to influence eyewitness’ identifications. If you have been wrongfully accused, please speak with a sex crime defense attorney in Tampa.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.