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Question

Assignment 1: What’s Your Recommendation?

You have taken the position of a consultant to interrogators. You begin by reviewing and observing the process by which potential suspects are identified by eyewitnesses. Routinely, a suspect is brought into a lineup room with five other individuals who are of the same ethnicity as the suspect. Not all are the same height and weight. Not all have the same hair color or facial hair. The police officers who have been conducting the investigation also handle lineups.

You are asked to evaluate this procedure and make recommendations for improvement.

Tasks:

In a minimum of 300 words, respond to the following:

Suggest improvements in the existing procedure.

Provide a rationale for the improvements suggested.

Review the web-based writings of Wells to assist you in your work.

Sample paper

EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION PROCESS

Law enforcement officers and the police force, in general, have difficult duties and obligations of keeping the entire population safe by putting all law breakers at bay and away from the members of the society. As a result, they need as much help as they can need from the society, the judicial system as well as from other departments and branches of law enforcement. On some occasions, arrest officers have to prove that they got the right suspect in their custody and through eyewitness, they can identify the suspect among other suspects.  Thus, eyewitness identification is important to law enforcement officers as well as the court of law as they attempt to administer justice and to ensure people are safe and live in harmony. Eyewitness identification process widely involves lining up five or more suspects in a room, and the eyewitness is asked to pick the suspect among the five accused. Often, these suspects must have the same ethnicity but not of the same size and height (Gronlund, 2014). Moreover, not all have the same hair color or facial hair. This assignment will focus on identifying mistakes committed when identifying suspects as well as provide a recommendation for improvement.

Despite the fact that eyewitness identification is one of the most potent and compelling tools available to law enforcers and prosecutors, statistics shows that this process is wrong with at least 50% of all identifications being wrong. However, police-arranged eyewitness identification processes differ greatly based on the nature of the case. The most common mistake and error that has greatly affected the credibility and reliability of this process is the misidentification of the suspects leading to the conviction of innocent and wrong people. At times, the eyewitness guesses and assumes the suspect, forcing innocent people to plead guilty (Wixted, 2015). However, with minor reforms, both law enforcers and the judicial system can make this process effective and credible enough to be used in trials. Below are recommendations for consideration.

  1. Blind/blinded administration – blind administration focuses on ensuring that the officer administering the lineup or any law enforcer participating in the identification has no clue who the suspect is to avoid bias. Blind administration can be very useful in preventing suggestive statements and unconscious body language to influence the witness and thus reducing chances of wrong identification.
  2. Lineup composition – this focuses on making the identification process a bit harder for the eyewitness by including innocent people with close resemblance and description. As a result, officers in charge of the identification processes and processes should make sure that they include more than one individual of the same race with the accused as well as more than one individual with similar facial hair as well as a similar hairline to ensure the results can be reliable(Steblay, 2016).
  3. Instructions – there is the need to change the instructions given to the eyewitness before identifying the suspect. To make this process more interesting, the eyewitness should be told that the suspect may or may not be in the lineup, and this may force the eyewitness to think hard before choosing whom he or she thinks is the suspect.
  4. Finally, a change in the way a suspect is presented to the eyewitness can greatly improve the results obtained from the process. The suspect should be presented sequentially one by one as opposed to the current procedure of presenting all the suspects at the same time. Sequential lineup enables the eyewitness to make a rational identification.

From the above-presented recommendations, it easy to note that this eyewitness identification process can be improved and make it better and avoid innocent conviction through the recommendations mentioned earlier.

References

Gronlund, S. D. (2014). Evaluating eyewitness identification procedures using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(1),, 3-10.

Steblay, N. K. (2016). Repeated Eyewitness Identification Procedures With the Same Suspect. . Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 5(3), , 284-289.

Wixted, J. T. (2015). Evaluating eyewitness identification procedures: ROC analysis and its misconceptions. . Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 4(4), , 318-323.

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