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Eyewitnesses

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Wrongful Convictions: The Latest Scientific Research & Implications for Law Enforcement

March 2013

What does science tell us about case factors that can lead to a wrongful conviction? Dr. Jon Gould of American University will discuss the findings of the first large-scale empirical study that has identified ten statistically significant factors that distinguish a wrongful conviction from a "near miss." (A "near miss" is a case in which an innocent defendant was acquitted or had charges dismissed before trial). Following Dr. Gould's presentation, Mr. John R.

How Collaboration Between Researchers and Police Chiefs Can Improve the Quality of Sexual Assault Investigations: A Look at Los Angeles

June 2011

Panelists discuss the application of research findings from an NIJ-sponsored study of sexual assault attrition to police practice in Los Angeles. There are three main focal points: (1) the mutual benefits of researcher/practitioner partnerships, (2) the implications of variation in police interpretation of UCR guidelines specific to clearing sexual assault (with an emphasis on cases involving nonstrangers), and (3) the content of specialized training that must be required for patrol officers and detectives who respond to and investigate sex crimes.

Erroneous Convictions in Criminal Justice

March 2013

Interview with Jon Gould, Ph.D., Director of the Washington Institute for Public and International Affairs Research, American University.

Dr. Gould discusses:

  • Bottom line findings from the study "Predicting Erroneous Convictions: A Social Science Approach to Miscarriages of Justice"
  • Ten statistically significant factors related to wrongful convictions
  • The role of systemic error and tunnel vision