CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – The question remains: How can an eyewitness be so wrong?
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports
“Eyewitnesses are overrated as evidence of a person’s guilt, ” Locke Bowman is legal director of the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center and adds he has been involved in a number of cases where faulty eyewitness identification has been an issue.
In this case, investigators showed a witness six driver’s license photos, and he picked Brian Dorian’s photo.
Later, he picked Dorian out of an in-person lineup. Bowman says authorities should not have shown the witness the photos first or at all.
“The witness begins to imagine that he saw Officer Dorian at the scene of the crime,” Bowman tells Newsradio 780, “when he’s just actually remembering what he observed in the photo spread.”
The Will County Sheriff’s office says the witness was so sure of Dorian, that he said, “Definitely, that’s the guy.”
CBS 2 Legal Analyst said Will County prosecutors also share in the blame, for failing to make sure they had all the evidence.
“I blame the felony review system of the Will County State’s Attorney’s office. They didn’t do their job,” Miller said.
Miller also blamed the state’s legal system, for allowing the testimony of a single eyewitness to be sufficient evidence to bring such charges.
“And I blame the law in the state of Illinois. It says eyewitness identification by one witness is sufficient to convict. That’s our law and it’s proven over and over again – even in death penalty cases – to be wrong,” Miller said.