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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Flawed Humans, Flawed Justice

By Adam Benforado
The New York Times
Originally posted June 13, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Our justice system must be reconstructed upon scientific fact. We can start by acknowledging what the data says about the fundamental flaws in our current legal processes and structures.

Consider the evidence that we treat as nearly unassailable proof of guilt at trial — an unwavering eyewitness, a suspect’s signed confession or a forensic match to the crime scene.

While we charge tens of thousands of people with crimes each year after they are identified in police lineups, research shows that eyewitnesses chose an innocent person roughly one-third of the time. Our memories can fail us because we’re frightened. They can be altered by the word choice of a detective. They can be corrupted by previously seeing someone’s image on a social media site.

The entire article is here.
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