The role of eyewitness identification evidence in felony case dispositions.
2016-02-01T11:53:05Z (GMT) by
We addressed the question of whether felony case dispositions are associated with eyewitness identification evidence. Toward this end, 725 felony cases (rape, robbery, and assault) were randomly sampled from the archives of a District Attorney’s Office in a large south-western city in the United States. Positive eyewitness identification evidence was more likely in cases issued compared to those rejected for prosecution although other case factors were associated with issuing outcomes to a larger extent. Additionally, eyewitness identification evidence was stronger in prosecuted compared to rejected cases in which eyewitness testimony was the sole evidence against the defendant. Neither the presence of multiple identifications nor non-identifications of the suspect varied across issuing outcomes. The findings are discussed in relation to additional research that is needed at the police and prosecution stages to advance public policy development with respect to the evaluation of eyewitness identification evidence.