Third Circuit Forms a Task Force on Eyewitness Identifications

Chief Judge McKee has announced the formation of a Task Force on Eyewitness Identifications.  This seventeen-member body will be co-chaired by Chief Judge McKee and Judge Mitchell Goldberg of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and includes judges of the Third Circuit and Dsitrict Judges from each District in the Circuit.  Also on the Task Force are a Middle District of Pennsylvania Federal Defender, the Delaware United States Attorney, a Philadelphia FBI assistant special agent-in-charge, a New Jersey Supervising Deputy Attorney General, and professors from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Temple University School of Law.

The Task Force is to issue a final report by June 9, 2017.  That report is expected to include recommendations on “a variety of subjects important to the accuracy of eyewitness identifications and minimizing the likelihood of wrongful convictions, including proposed jury instructions that are specific to the evaluation of eyewitness testimony, and the use of expert testimony to better inform jurors about eyewitness identification testimony,” according to a press release issued by the Third Circuit.