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Report Urges Caution in Handling and Relying Upon Eyewitness Identifications in Criminal Cases, Recommends Best Practices for Law Enforcement and Courts

The National Academy of Sciences recently issued a report that resoundingly supports the findings of eyewitness scientists.   The report is of particular interest to Augsburg: Dr.
Nancy Steblay of the Psychology Department has been a strong contributor to eyewitness research, often with the laboratory assistance of Augsburg students.  Dr. Steblay was one of the
eyewitness scientists who testified before the NAS in Washington, DC as the NAS committee began their review of eyewitness science.  The report  recommends best practices that law enforcement agencies and courts should follow to improve the likelihood that eyewitness identifications used in criminal cases will be accurate. Science has provided an increasingly clear picture of the inherent limits in human visual perception and memory that can lead to errors, as well as the ways that law enforcement processes can compromise eyewitness identifications, the report says.  Dr. Steblay’s research has focused on the revision of police identification procedures as a means to reduce eyewitness error.