The Innocence Project and the NY State Bar Association are rallying in Albany, NY, today to urge lawmakers to pass legislation requiring best procedural practices to reduce eyewitness misidentification and false confessions. Laws requiring or recommending best practices are in place in New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio, but have met resistance and failed to pass in New York and other states.
The Innocence Project is expected to release data showing that no police departments in NY have reported following recommended identification procedures. These reforms are frequently said to be “cost neutral” when compared to existing procedures. However, they arguably save and protect taxpayers, since the human and financial cost of convicting the innocent and permitting the guilty to continue lives of crime are enormous.