PITTSBURGH: According to research by the Innocence Project, eyewitness mis-identification of criminal suspects using police lineups is the most common cause of wrongful convictions of innocent people in the United States. A new research study highlighting how to improve this critical element of police work has been published by researchers at Carlow University, Chatham University and Harvard Medical School.
The research team’s study tested how police lineups for eyewitness identification purposes are structured and proposed presenting suspects, not sequentially, but in pairs (i.e., the PAIR approach). The research shows that the PAIR approach, which is rooted in multi-criteria decision-making, results in significantly fewer false identifications while keeping comparable or better correct identifications than previous lineup methods. These research findings have the potential to greatly improve eyewitness testimony and contribute to the improvement of policies and procedures in police work and the criminal justice system.
The study was led by Enrique Mu, member of the College of Leadership and Social Change at Carlow University; Tingting (Rachel) Chung, Program Director of the Business Department at Chatham University; and Lawrence Ian Reed of McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School; The research team co-authored and published an article on their research entitled Paradigm Shift in Criminal Police Lineups; Eyewitness Identification as Multicriteria Decision Making in the International Journal of Production Economics.
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