How Could Dorian Witness Get It So Wrong?
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CHICAGO (WBBM/AP) - Several questions remain now that charges have been dropped against Lynwood Police Officer Brian Dorian in last week’s shooting spree along the Illinois-Indiana border that left one man dead.
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One is: Who did it?
Another is: How can an eyewitness be so wrong?
The circumstantial evidence against Dorian included a witness who identified him as the shooter.
Once Dorian revealed that he had been on the Internet the morning of the shootings, authorities examined his computer and were able to clear him. The charge of first-degree murder that had been filed against him was formally dropped Wednesday.
“Eyewitnesses are overrated as evidence of a person’s guilt.”
Locke Bowman is legal director of the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law, and says he has been involved in a number of cases where faulty eyewitness identification has been an issue.
In the Dorian case, investigators showed a 19-year-old 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, 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.”
© Contents of this site are Copyright 2010 by WBBM. The Associated Press contributed to this report.