Skip to Content

Statistics Department Seminar Series: Karen Kafadar, Commonwealth Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Virginia

“Reliability of Eyewitness Identification as a Forensic Tool”
Friday, October 13, 2017
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
411 West Hall Map
Abstract:

Among the 318 wrongful convictions identified by the Innocence Project that were later overturned by DNA evidence resurrected from the crime scene, 229 (72%) involved eyewitness testimony. Such courtroom identifications from an eyewitness can be tremendously powerful evidence in a trial. Yet memory is not a perfect video recording of events, and one's recollection of the events surrounding an incident is even less reliable. In October 2014, the National Academy of Sciences issued a landmark report evaluating the scientific research on memory and eyewitness identification. The Committee, comprised of researchers (psychologists, statisticians, sociologists) and representatives of the judicial system (judges, attorneys) reviewed published research on the factors that influence the accuracy and consistency of eyewitnesses' identifications, conducted via laboratory and field studies. I will describe the research on memory and recollection, the shortcomings in the statistical methods used in evaluating laboratory studies, and the Committee's recommendations aimed at standardizing procedures and informing judicial personnel of the factors that can have negative impacts on accuracy of eyewitness testimony. (The author was a member of the NAS Committee that issued the report.)
Building: West Hall
Website:
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: seminar
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Statistics, Department of Statistics Seminar Series