Psychologist urges reforms to consider what might be lost
University of California, Riverside psychologist Steven E. Clark released an article questioning what he observes as the “no-cost” view of the new eyewitness identification reforms. The article does not use overly complex language and helps reformers consider fully legitimizing their propositions. Clark’s main observation is that the new reforms are decided to be the best, because they seem to identify the actual perpetrator in the best way, but they do not consider the correct identifications that could have been made by the old procedures. The reforms should be implemented if it is worse to misidentify an innocent person than lose a correct identification.
He asks for more research to be done to legitimize the reforms. The reforms work towards the goal of getting witnesses to correctly identify suspects as closely as possible to their memory, unaffected by outside factors. Clark does not doubt the reforms have good intentions and are designed to avoid outside factors like they suggest they will, he just calls for more support.
If anything, maybe the justice system should be more speculative of witness identifications, even after the reforms ensue. Less weight should be given to them. The reforms are changing a process that has been a major part of the criminal process for quite some time, why not change the way they are viewed as well?