When a Witness Confronts the Accused: Is a Courtroom I.D. Fair?

So far, two states say not always, and try to limit the practice.

It’s one of the oldest courtroom gambits in America: a prosecutor in a criminal trial asks a key witness if he sees the person who committed the crime anywhere in the room. Pause. The witness turns and points to the defendant, as the jurors take it all in.

But this enduring practice, dating back to colonial courthouses, has come under fire in the last few years as an often unreliable tool that has no place in a 21st century trial.

[Read more on the Marshall Project]

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