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Oregon supreme court limits validity of eyewitness testimony in court

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Gov. Jerry Brown is changing tactics as a way to reduce prison overcrowding. Brown is now seeking to move prisoners to private cells out of state as an alternative to releasing thousands of prisoners early. (Photo: Inmates at Chino State Prison walk the hallway on December 10, 2010 in Chino, California).
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Inmates at Chino State Prison walk the hallway on December 10, 2010 in Chino, California.

Eyewitness identifications are mainstays in police procedural dramas, but in the real world, those witness identifications are not as reliable as one would think.

Eyewitness identifications are mainstays in police procedural dramas, but in the real world, those witness identifications are not as reliable as one would think.

Research has shown that witness memories can be easily swayed by things like suggestive questioning, the race of the suspect, even the lighting that they're shown in.

Last week, the Oregon supreme court set down new guidelines that limit the admissability of eye witness testimony in court. It's seen as a landmark decision that could provide a blueprint for the rest of the country.

Here to discuss the case is Karen Newirth, who works on this issue with the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating those who have been wrongly convicted.

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