Jury instructions on eyewitness identification evidence: a re-evaluation

Leverick, F. (2016) Jury instructions on eyewitness identification evidence: a re-evaluation. Creighton Law Review, 49(3), pp. 555-588.

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Publisher's URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10504/87850


The primary contribution of this paper is to challenge the accepted wisdom that jury instructions are an ineffective safeguard against wrongful conviction caused by mistaken eyewitness identification. It argues that such a conclusion is based on an erroneous interpretation of the available experimental evidence and that, in fact, there are grounds for optimism about the effectiveness of jury instructions in educating jurors about the risks posed by eyewitness identification evidence and sensitising them to the factors relevant to its evaluation. In order to play a useful role in safeguarding against wrongful conviction, however, instructions need to be easily comprehensible; to reflect the relevant scientific findings; and be provided to jurors in writing (or an alternative format for those who would find written instructions inaccessible). The paper also makes a secondary contribution, which is to warn of the dangers of accepting uncritically the findings of mock jury research as the basis for legal policy formation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Leverick, Professor Fiona
Authors: Leverick, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Creighton Law Review
Publisher:Creighton University, School of Law
ISSN (Online):2168-9261
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Author
First Published:First published in Creighton Law Review 49(3): 555-588
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Editor

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