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Cross-Racial Eyewitness Identification Jury Instructions: New York v. Otis Boone

Recorded on: Apr. 23, 2018
Running Time: 01:01:40

Full Transcript:



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Taken from the Audio-only Briefing Recorded April 2018 in New York

Cross-Racial Eyewitness Identification Jury Instructions: New York v. Otis Boone [01:01:40]

Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in our criminal justice system.  Own-race bias, the phenomenon of being better able to remember the faces of people who share one’s own race than the faces of people of other races, makes cross-racial eyewitness identifications decidedly less reliable than same-race identifications.  Yet absent clear and specific guidance on the shortcomings of cross-racial identifications, juries in criminal trials readily credit eyewitness testimony.

Criminal defense attorneys can play a vital role in reducing the risk of cross-racial misidentifications.  With the holding in New York v. Boone, New York recently became one of only a handful of states that require juries be informed about the risks of cross-racial eyewitness identifications in certain circumstances. 

Please join Marne L. Lenox, Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and co-author of LDF’s amicus brief in New York v. Boone to learn more about:

  • The New York State Court of Appeals decision in Boone
  • How cross-racial eyewitness identifications heighten the danger of misidentification and wrongful convictions
  • Benefits of cross-racial identification jury instructions
  • States that require cross-racial identification jury instructions
  • Crafting an effective cross-racial identification jury instruction

Presentation Material

  • Brief of Amicus Curiae NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
    Marne L. Lenox
  • Cross-Racial Eyewitness Identification Jury Instructions: New York v. Otis Boone
    Marne L. Lenox
  • The People v. Otis Boone
    Marne L. Lenox
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