Brandon Moon was picked out of a police lineup as a rapist, and he spent almost 18 years in prison for the crime.
But DNA proved the eyewitness wrong. And the problem is, eyewitnesses are often wrong. In fact, 75 percent of DNA exoneration cases such as Moon’s involve mistakes by such witnesses.
Now advocates are urging police to change the way they conduct lineups.
“What do you need to go through to get the right person?” said Moon, now living in Olathe after his release from a Texas prison in 2004. “That’s what you should do.”
Armed with memory research and studies showing flaws in how witnesses identify suspects, police departments around the country are working to reduce mistaken identifications by changing how they show lineups to witnesses.
Police in New Jersey, Wisconsin and North Carolina have changed the way they do lineups. Dallas, Denver, Boston and Minneapolis also made changes.
Kansas City police say they will research the new methods, but for the most part, local police are sticking to what they know. They point out that DNA has not proved any wrongful convictions in the Kansas City area.
“At this juncture I’d be somewhat reluctant to make a bunch of sweeping changes just because it’s the vogue thing to do on the East Coast,” said Liberty Police Lt. Mark Balzer of the criminal investigation unit.
Read more at KansasCity.com