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Eyewitness Identification

Innocent people have been convicted of crimes they did not commit because of insufficient protections used to verify eyewitness identifications. The WVU College of Law’s Innocence Project Clinic prepared draft legislation that Delegate Fleischauer sponsored in 2013. HB 2758 requires law enforcement agencies to establish fair procedures for line-ups and witness identification. These included requirements that the eyewitness's full description of the perpetrator including the circumstances under which they saw them be recorded before viewing a lineup, that eyewitness must be told that the suspect may not be present in the lineup and they are not required to make an identification, and that all lineups must be conducted in such a way that the person conducting the lineup does not know who the suspect is. These measures and others are designed to prevent false charges being leveled against innocent people.

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