UPDATE: Va. crime panel backs stronger police ID policy

State-NewsUpdate: Wed., 10/22/14 4:55 a.m.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia State Crime Commission is recommending stronger measures to ensure the accuracy of police eyewitness identifications. The commission agreed Tuesday to back legislation requiring law enforcement agencies to adopt a model policy recommended by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services in 2011. The bill will be considered by the 2015 General Assembly. Only 6 percent of the agencies responding to a University of Virginia law professor’s study last year had adopted the model policy. A new study by the Crime Commission staff found that 46 percent of the agencies now have a policy nearly identical to the “best practices” model. Police lineups are under scrutiny because 13 of the 16 people wrongly convicted in Virginia and later exonerated by DNA evidence originally were misidentified by eyewitnesses.

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Original post: Tues., 10/21/14 2:38 a.m.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia State Crime Commission is examining whether police are doing enough to ensure the accuracy of eyewitness identifications. The commission is set to hear a report on the issue Tuesday. Thirteen of the 16 people wrongly convicted in Virginia and later exonerated by DNA evidence originally were misidentified by eyewitnesses. A study released last year by a University of Virginia law professor found that most law enforcement agencies in the state are using outdated eyewitness identification procedures. Only 6 percent of the 144 agencies responding to a survey had implemented a model policy recommended by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services in 2011. A new study by the National Academy of Sciences reinforces the need for the type of policy recommended but not fully implemented in Virginia.

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