For years, psychologists, lawyers and law enforcement have been studying and discussing what practices might be best for getting the most accurate information from eyewitnesses. In a new scientific project, we have examined what law enforcement agencies are doing. How often are they using best practices such as double-blind lineups, or documenting the initial confidence? Are small agencies using them as much as large ones? Our findings have implications for the fairness of our justice system delivery in cases that hinge on eyewitness memory.
Elizabeth Loftus is a Distinguished Professor at UCI. She holds faculty positions in the Department of Psychological Science; the Department of Criminology, Law and Society, and the School of Law. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 22 books and over 500 scientific articles. Loftus' research has focused on the malleability of human memory. She has been recognized for her research with seven honorary doctorates and election to numerous prestigious societies, including the National Academy of Sciences. She is a past president of the Association for Psychological Science, the Western Psychological Association, and the American Psychology-Law Society. Loftus’s memory research has led to her being called as an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of cases. Some of the more well-known cases include the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Menendez brothers, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and litigation involving Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, Oliver North, Bill Cosby, and the Duke University Lacrosse players.
Rachel Greenspan is a Research Fellow at the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the UCI in 2018. Greenspan's research focuses on the intersection of psychology and the legal system. Her recent work explores eyewitness confidence and the development and downstream consequences of memory errors. Her research has been recognized with awards and funding from the National Science Foundation and the American Psychology-Law Society.