Lindell Law Offices, PLLC
4409 California Ave SW Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98116
Attorney at Law
The advent of DNA technology has proven that eyewitness testimony is among the most dangerous and unreliable evidence that the prosecution can produce against the accused at trial. Over the past decade, numerous people have been freed from prison after new evidence proved that the eyewitness testimony presented by prosecutors at trial was wrong. Unfortunately, many jurors still believe eyewitness testimony is highly reliable. The due process clause of the constitution protects an accused against the admission of unreliable identification evidence. Manson v. Braithwaite, 432 U.S. 98, 97 S. Ct. 2243, 53 L. Ed. 2d 140 (1977).
In determining whether eyewitness identification evidence will be excluded from trial, our courts analyze (1) the opportunity of the witness to view the perpetrator at the time of the crime; (2) the witness's degree of attention; (3) the accuracy of the witness's prior description of the perpetrator; (4) the level of certainty the witness demonstrate when he or she identifies the suspect; and, (5) the time lapse between the crime and when the witness is shown the suspect. See, State v. Shea, 95. Wn. App. 56, 60, 930 P.2d 1232 (1997); Neil v. Biggers, 409 U.S. 188, 93 S. Ct. 375, 34 L.Ed.2d 401 (1972); Simmons v. United States, 390 U.S. 377, 88 S. Ct. 967, 19 L.Ed.2d 1247 (1968).