USC Announces New Research Improving Bias in Police Lineups

Rebekah Sager
July 15, 2020 - 6:09 am

    Scientists from the University of Southern California and other SoCal research facilities have found a new way to determine how a reliable an eyewitness is in choosing a suspected criminal from a police lineup. 

    The new data tests the abilities of a witness' memory, while also gauging bias by scoring a witness' based on comparing photos as opposed to the traditional lining up of suspects. 

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    "Our new lineup method uncovers the structure of eyewitness memory, removes decision bias from the identification process, and quantifies the performance of individual witnesses,'' Sergei Gepshtein, an expert in perceptual psychology and neuroscience at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a corresponding author of the study says. 

    "This study is a great example of using laboratory science to bring about criminal justice reform," Gepshtein said. "What's at stake is the confidence people have in their criminal justice system. People want the criminal justice system to use the best methods available for prosecuting crime," Gepshtein added.