Due to the big influence of television, one would think that all crimes can be solved through forensic science much like how detectives and investigators do it in TV shows such as CSI and NCIS. Forensic science seems like a magic formula that would solve all crimes for regular people. However, if you are well adept with criminal investigations then you should know that statements from eyewitnesses and suspect identification are still the biggest factors when it comes to solving crimes. If these factors aren’t present then it would be close to impossible to find a solution to any crime. Although so they say that no crime is perfect, it would still be unsolvable if there are no traces of evidence and witnesses that would help figure out what really happened in the crime scene and tell who the real perpetrators are.
A group of Miami legislators is currently establishing new measures that would help criminal suspect identification more reliable. HB 821 and SB 1206 also known as the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act would commission specific procedures that would strengthen lineups in identifying possible suspects. The group which is composed of Miami criminal lawyers is firm in pressing this bill for it to become a law in due time. One of the reforms being pushed in this bill is the use of the “double blind” lineup wherein the police officer assigned to the case along with the witness do not know the identity of the alleged suspects given in the lineup. This method is simply fair to all of the parties involved and the case of identifying wrong suspects can be put to a minimum. The eyewitnesses are also required to sign a document saying that proper instructions were given to them by the police officers administering the process. On a different note, the proposed bill will also require the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to provide more educational tools that will assist law enforcement officers in conducting crime investigation.
A clear example when it comes to suspect identification lapses in Miami is a case wherein a convicted person is later exonerated because of exculpatory DNA evidence. During the past twelve exonerations in Miami, nine of them heavily relied in witness misidentification of suspects. With this data alone, we can safely say that most DNA exonerations involve faulty suspect identifications. Once the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act is approved, lapses such as the one mentioned above can now be apprehended in order to bring a clear and transparent solution of crimes.
John H. Gooden, who is a Miami criminal defense lawyer, cited the case of Derrick Williams who was Florida’s 13th exonerated inmate after serving close to 18 years of a life sentence because of rape. Unreliable witnesses suspect identification was the biggest factor why Mr. Williams was able to win his defense. “This case highlights the need for prosecutors to heavily scrutinize identifications before trial even begins and for judges in Miami to be more open towards scientific investigation among other methods who can help the juries evaluate suspect identification during trial.” said John H. Gooden who also works for the Miami criminal investigation unit.
Miami Criminal Defense Lawyers Must Hold Prosecutors for Evidentiary Burden
The nature of the crime should never be a factor whether it is a heinous crime or a simple financial illegalities, the role of the defense attorney stays firm that he or she is going to protect his or her client from the worst possibilities due to conviction. They can only be effective if they are able to cast doubts in the juries’ heads along with the prosecutors and this could be done by questioning suspect identification and evidences to the crime. Evidentiary burden is a liability towards prosecutors and clearly a boost for criminal defense lawyers this is why advocating superior identification procedures along with an improvement in gathering evidences is clearly the goal of the proposed Eyewitness Identification Reform Act. It will make the lives of all lawyers better and there will be a better yet fair stance when it comes to suspect identification. Justice will be served and cases such as Derrick Williams who wasted 18 years of his life behind bars can be avoided. For more info on this development please visit floridalegalresources.com and cplaw-miami.com for updates on this.