NEW VOICES: Police Chiefs Join Innocence Project for Criminal Investigation Reforms

By aholsinger

In a new report released on December 2, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) called for police departments to adopt new guidelines to reduce the number of wrongful convictions. The chiefs’ recommendations include reforms of lineup procedures, videotaping of witness interviews, and formalizing the review of innocence claims. The IACP worked with the Justice Department and the Innocence Project to identify ways to reduce potential sources of error and bias. Walter A. McNiel, police chief of Quincy, Florida, and past president of IACP, said, “At the end of the day, the goal is to reduce the number of persons who are wrongfully convicted. What we are trying to say in this report is, it’s worth it for all of us, particularly law enforcement, to continue to evaluate, slow down, and get the right person.” The recommendations take into account research that has found eyewitness error in the majority of cases later overturned by DNA evidence. (Eyewitness error is also a leading cause of wrongful convictions in death penalty cases.)

(S. Hsu, “Police chiefs lead effort to prevent wrongful convictions by altering investigative practices,” Washington Post, December 2, 2013). See Innocence and New Voices. Since 1973, 143 defendants have been exonerated and freed from death row.

Via: NEW VOICES: Police Chiefs Join Innocence Project for Criminal Investigation Reforms