Dear Criminal Justice Leaders,
On behalf of the members of the Connecticut Eyewitness Identification Task Force, the Yale Law School’s Criminal Justice Clinic, and our national sponsors, welcome to the website for the 2016 National Symposium on Eyewitness Identification Reform.
I want to take this opportunity to provide you of Connecticut’s involvement in this important issue.
The Task Force began its work in mid-September, 2011. The Task Force’s membership consists of the entire spectrum of critical interests, including: the Co-Chairs and Ranking Members of the Judiciary Committee; a retired judge; representatives of the Offices of the Chief State’s Attorney and Chief Public Defender; representatives of state and local police departments; legal scholars; social scientists; the State Victim Advocate; a representative of the Connecticut Innocence Project; representatives of the public; and representatives of the Bar. Its work has been greatly facilitated by the collaborative efforts and cooperation of all of these stakeholders, in particular, police and law enforcement who are keenly aware of the risks of erroneous identifications by eyewitnesses and understands the critical need to establish reliable identification procedures
The Task Force arrived at consensus in important areas, including police training, data collection and pilot programming. After careful consideration, the members also voted unanimously to require law enforcement in Connecticut to use sequential rather than simultaneous presentations of photo arrays to witnesses and to require double-blind procedures, if practicable, and if not practicable, blind procedures. The Task Force is sensitive to the evolving nature of the relevant social sciences and that these areas of study will likely continue to evolve and develop.
The Task Force has established an archive for data being collected by police departments throughout the State in collaboration with Sacred Heart University. The Archive will provide a significant opportunity to study Connecticut’s policies and procedures and to identify any revisions that may be necessary.
It is my sincere hope that the 2016 National Symposium on Eyewitness Identification Reform will provide opportunities for leaders throughout the country to learn about and discuss the promising work and range of reforms and approaches being instituted in our state as well as in a number of jurisdictions throughout the country.
I hope to see you in June.
The Honorable David M. Borden, Chair
Connecticut Eyewitness Identification Task Force
Retired Supreme Court Justice, Member of the Appellate Court