Another day, another mistaken identification base on a police lineup, and another wrongly prosecuted and convicted man set free after years in prison.
When will the "system" start fairly evaluating the value of a lineup identification? Isn't it better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted?
Although scientific studies have shown that mistaken identity is a common phenomenon, jurors give very strong credence to eyewitness testimony, particularly where the eyewitness is resolute in believing that their identification of the defendant was correct.
AP/CBS News reported:
A man who spent 18 years in prison on a rape charge walked out of court Tuesday a free man, exonerated by DNA evidence.
James Calvin Tillman, 44, had been imprisoned since his arrest in 1988. He was sentenced a year later to 45 years in prison.
Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas Miano granted Tillman's request last month for a new trial and released him on his own recognizance. On Tuesday, Miano dropped all charges and wished him "health and happiness into the future."
Tillman was 26 when he was charged with abducting a woman as she got into her car near a Hartford restaurant, then beating and raping her at a housing project.
The woman picked out Tillman from a series of photos, and friends contradicted his alibi.
DNA Evidence Clears Wrongly Convicted Man [CBSNews.com, July 11, 2006]
Man free 21 years after wrongful rape conviction [TJN, July 7, 2006]
Study Suspects Thousands of False Convictions [truthinjustice.com, April 19, 2004]