Eyewitness In Jennifer Thompson

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Eyewitness Identification On the night of July 28, 1984 in Burlington, N.C., Jennifer Thompson, then a 22-year-old college student, had gone to bed early in her off-campus apartment. As she slept, a man entered her apartment. Thompson said the man, armed with a knife, told her to shut up or that he would kill her. The man raped Thompson for approximately 30 minutes until she tricked him into letting her get up to get him a drink and she escaped out the back door. The suspect raped a second women ½ away from the first crime scene. The first comment that Thompson made to the police was, “I’m going to get the guy that did this to me.” She said she took the time to study his face. Three days later Thompson was called in to the police department for a photo lineup. In that photo line up was a picture of 22-year-old Ronald Cotton. He worked at a restaurant near the scene of both rapes. Thompson studied the pictures for five minutes. She picked up Ron Cotton’s photograph and said, “That’s the man that raped me”. In a weeklong trail Cotton was sentenced to life and 50 years. Seven years went by and Cotton heard about new DNA evidence that was exonerating falsely accused prisoners.…show more content…
The majority of the departments recommend that police officers that can identify the suspect no longer be allowed to conduct lineups. This new process is called, Sequential, Double-Blind method. This procedure doesn’t consist of showing the witness one photo at a time. This procedure is a package with the sequential display being the centerpiece. The package requires witnesses to make an identification choice of “yes,” “no,” or “I don’t know” for each photo before seeing the next photo. The officer conducting the lineup with the witness will not be involved with the investigation or know which photo in the lineup is the

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