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Effect of viewing the interview and identification process on juror perceptions of eyewitness accuracy



This study examined whether showing jurors a video of the witness's initial attempts to describe and identify the perpetrator would facilitate jurors' ability to discriminate between accurate and inaccurate witnesses. Mock jurors observed a simulated trial in which the key witness testified under direct examination and cross-examination. The jurors saw either the witness's testimony or the witness's testimony plus videotape footage of the earlier police interviews in which the witness described and attempted to identify the perpetrator. Results support the hypothesis: Jurors in the examination-plus-video condition discriminated between accurate and inaccurate witnesses better than jurors in the examination-only condition. We discuss various mechanisms to explain the advantage provided by the video. It is recommended that police officers videotape the line-up procedure and that jurors be shown this video at trial. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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