Importance of following proper practices when conducting eyewitness identification process

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The witness presents the evidence to the court in the eyewitness identification procedure. This witness needs to have seen the event firsthand and be capable of testifying in court with assurance about it. (Jennifer, 2000). However, for the following reasons, it is crucial to use appropriate procedures when identifying a criminal using the eyewitness procedure: The system factors are the primary cause. (Gary & Elizabeth, 2003, p.277). These are the variables affecting the accuracy of the identification process of the eyewitness, factors that criminal justice system has control over (Gary & Elizabeth, 2003, p.285). One of these variables include the actual culprit of the crime being absent from the police lineups. As a result, the final suspect to be selected from the list of the suspected criminals is actually not the very criminal. Thus an innocent person is finally prosecuted in a crime that the party did not actually commit. If the criminal identification process is proper and accurate, it will save the false criminals the agony, mental torture and physical sufferings that come with the crime. Secondly, the family of the false criminals suffers both the financial and physical loss of their member in the process of fulfilling the court orders. Finally, the false witness has is name publicly tainted, thus losing the moral worthiness and fame among the friends and relatives. Thus following the due process during eyewitness can help save the false criminal all these agony.

Other investigative steps to increase investigation reliability

Other investigative steps that would increase the reliability of the evidence other than eye witness requires the investigating officer to arrive at the scene in good time before all possible evidences are interfered with, documenting the scene of crime, scene processing, recording and completing the investigations for the crime scene (College of policing, 2013). Once this process is duly carried out, the officer carries out the pre-arrest investigation. In this process, the investigating officer identifies the suspect in person and starts following the trial procedures (U.S state, 2017. With this first hand evidence, the officer will not suffer the risk of arresting and charging the wrong in any way (Bradfield et al, 2002). Two methods can be used in criminal investigation. This includes both reactive and proactive approaches. Reactive approach includes getting public reports, obtaining referrals by other agencies, linked series in which the intelligence unit links the present crime to other crimes, and conducting re-investigation in the presence of new information. Proactive approach begins from the intelligence unit identifying individuals or groups of people who have been assessed to be involved in the crime under investigation. The following intelligence packages are applicable; analysis of crime pattern, network analysis, market profiles, tactical profiles, analysis of crime business among others.


Bradfield, A. et al., (2002). The damaging effect of confirming feedback on the relation between eyewitness certainity and identification accuracy. Journal of applied psychology, Vol.87 , 112-120.

College of policing, UK., (2013). investigation process. London: App. available at .

Gary, W. & Elizabeth, O., (2003). Eyewitness testimony. 54 Annu. Rev. Psychol. , 277.

Gary, W. & Elizabeth, O., (2003). Eyewitness Testimony. 54 Annual Review Psychology , 285.

Jennifer, T. (2000). I was certain, but I was wrong. New York: New York Times.

U.S state, (2017). general investigative procedures. New York: U.S criminal department. Available at<>.

July 15, 2023


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