2017 July

The Science Behind Eyewitness Identification

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Eyewitness identification is not a reliable as you may think. The private investigators in Boise see this on a regular basis particularly when police line ups are used to identify a suspect in a crime. The eyewitnesses are more likely to misidentify someone than actually identify the guilty party. It has become such a problem that studies have been conducted to try to determine what needs to be done to increase the reliability of eyewitness identification.

Proper Instructions Are Necessary

One of the key findings was that the instructions provided to eyewitnesses must be clear. The tendency for identification based on whoever looks most like the suspect in relation to the rest of the people in the line up produces several false positives. The way this can be remedied is when an eyewitness is viewing a line up for the first time is by instructing them that the true suspect may not even be in the line up. This alone relaxes eyewitnesses who feel pressured to identify someone even if they are not 100-percent positive themselves.

Using Double-Blind Procedures

Another method of eyewitness identification supported by the private investigators in Boise is known as double-blind. This is where neither the eyewitness nor the person administering the line up process knows who the suspect is. If the lineup administrator was aware of the suspect’s identity they could, even unintentionally, provide clues to the eyewitness though body language, facial expressions and even verbally. When double-blind procedures are used, studies show the contamination of the process risk is greatly reduced.

Timing Of Statements

Eyewitness memories tend to be more accurate the sooner a statement is gathered from the time of initial identification. By using proper identification procedures and questioning early in the timeline of a crime produces much more reliable data in order to properly identify a suspect. In other words, the more time that passes between initial identification and the statement procedure, the less likely the eyewitness will remember certain details. Witnesses are more confident in their recollection of details when they are still fresh in their mind and this contributes to the accuracy of early statement gathering.

Count On The Private Investigators In Boise at Custer Agency

At Custer Agency, we understand the science behind eyewitness identification and utilize the proper questioning techniques to increase reliability. For more information on how the private investigators in Boise can help with your eyewitness identification information, call us today.

All About Social Media Investigations

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The challenge facing private investigators in Boise with social media investigations goes far beyond the simple screenshot. In fact, a screenshot may be enough proof for you but there is a whole lot more evidence required if a court case uses social media information.

The key behind the successful use of data collected from such sites as Facebook and MySpace is being able to properly authenticate the information. This takes on a completely different layer of information which does not appear in a screenshot. In fact, a screenshot does not include any of the information known as metadata. In other words, it just scratches the surface.

The Kinds Of Metadata Collected

As the private investigators in Boise will explain to you that while a screenshot is some kind of evidence, it is nothing more than an electronic capture of content. The forms of metadata required to properly authenticate a photo or other piece of information pulled from a social media feed include but are not limited to the following:

  • URLs of links that are included in the original online posting
  • The unique ID of the thread the original message appears in
  • The platform plus applications used in creating the original post
  • The total number of post comments that appear related to the original

Provided all of these pieces of the metadata puzzle have been properly collected and preserved, they can work together with other kinds of evidence, including non-digital, to authenticate a post. Without the proper tools and knowledge of metadata, evidence collected may not stand up in court so it is essential that social media investigations are conducted thoroughly.

The Right Tools Make The Difference

Just like a carpenter will tell you, without the correct tool for the job, there is going to be a problem concerning quality of craftsmanship. The same can be said about social media investigations. However, the tools necessary for gathering digital metadata have been developed in recent years. The private investigators in Boise know how to use these tools when required.

For More Information Contact Custer Agency

Are you in need of better evidence related to a matter where social media contains the information that can help with your case? Call the private investigators in Boise at Custer Agency for assistance. They have experience in this relatively new form of evidence gathering and can locate and preserve the metadata you will need to use as evidence in your case.