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Special reporting series: Questioning the Witness

Special reporting series: Questioning the Witness

New England Public Media's Karen Brown looks at the evolving science of eyewitness testimony and the people with the greatest stake in how it’s used.
Springfield Police are gathering evidence and talking to neighbors after a shooting occurred at about 6 p.m. on Wait Street, on Aug. 26, 2020.
Jeanette DeForge
/
The Republican / masslive.com

Scientists have long claimed that eyewitness testimony can be both highly convincing and incredibly unreliable. According to the Innocence Project, 70% of convictions overturned by DNA evidence came down to faulty eyewitness testimony. Observers say Massachusetts has made progress in making sure eyewitness testimony is accurate, but problems persist.

In this three-part series, New England Public Media's Karen Brown looks at the evolving science of eyewitness testimony and the people with the greatest stake in how it’s used.

Part one: 'I Was There, I Saw Him': Do Eyewitnesses Have Too Much Sway In Massachusetts Courts?

Part two: 'Why'd You Pick Me?' Eyewitness Reforms Offer Limited Help To Those Convicted Decades Ago

Part three: 'I Don't Think You Did This, But I Can't Fix It': How To Improve Eyewitness Evidence