September 20th, 2011
In an article published today by Slate, Universtiy of Virginia Law Professor and author Brandon Garrett details the eyewitness identification procedures used when investigating the Troy Anthony Davis case. Garrett explains how the lineups were not double-blind and were suggestive to the witnesses. Furthermore, Garrett states that the photo lineups were not conducted until at least five days after the crime had occurred, during which time they circulated Davis’ picture widely in the community and on the news, stating that they were looking at him as a suspect. All of these factors could have led to erroneous eyewitness identifications, the most common culprit in cases of wrongful convictions. Indeed 7 of 9 witnesses have since recanted their statements. Despite recent media coverage explaining the fallibility of memory and the need for reform in the way eyewitness identifications are obtained, the Georgia Board of Pardons this morning denied clemency to Davis, who is scheduled to die tomorrow night by lethal injection. There is no physical evidence linking Troy Anthony Davis to the crime and he has always maintained his innocence.
Read full Slate article here.