In Guerriero’s brief rebuttal, he again encountered a resistant Justice Scalia. If there are problems with unreliable evidence, and a defense lawyer makes that argument persuasively, Scalia told the public defender, “the more likely it is that the jury will take care of that.” Guerriero, in closing, sought only to make the point that he was not seeking to “open the floodgates” for a new constitutional rule, but simply to have the Court reiterate — as it had done in prior precedents — that there is a reasonable due process rule that keeps unreliable eyewitness testimony from getting before juries.
Unreliable Eyewitness Testimony
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing several cases of convicted felons after one case was overturned partly because of unreliable eyewitness testimony.
Is Eyewitness Testimony Inherently Unreliable
How is it that time and time again witnesses can be so sure yet so wrong about what they saw? How is it that jurors can repeatedly be led to a disastrously wrong conclusion? Thirty years of social science have demonstrated the many factors at play in leading to unreliable eyewitness testimony and how common police practices can inadvertently taint a witness’ recollection. Too often, well-meaning witnesses are unaware of how their recollections have been shaped over time. Without the expertise of those who study these matters, jurors are left without the tools to effectively evaluate this evidence.
The Problem with Eyewitness Testimony