Last week, the court of appeals reversed a defendant’s conviction for first-degree murder. That doesn’t happen every day, so let’s unpack the case. The central issue concerns two eyewitnesses’ in-court identifications of the defendant.
Live and photo lineups and show-ups implicate constitutional and statutory requirements. This post will focus on the statutory requirements. For constitutional requirements, see pages 594-98 in Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina (5th ed. 2016).
This post addresses three recurrent issues concerning eyewitness identification:
- When, if at all, is expert testimony about eyewitness identification admissible?
- When, if at all, is an indigent defendant entitled to funds with which to hire an expert on eyewitness identification?
- May jury instructions, rather than expert testimony, be used to inform the jury about factors relevant to the accuracy of an eyewitness identification?