The Science Behind Eyewitness Identification | CusterAgency Private Investigators

Posted by | July 25, 2017 | Articles | No Comments

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.