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 In The News
  Posted on: Monday, July 23, 2012
N.J. Supreme Court imposing sweeping changes in crime witness testimony
TRENTON - Last year, the state Supreme Court threw attorneys and cops into a tizzy when it said New Jersey's standards for eyewitness testimony are unreliable when determining guilt or innocence. Now the high court is implementing sweeping changes in how police gather statements from those who witness crimes, and how prosecutors present it all to jurors. After Labor Day, judges will be required to give jurors plenty of precautions before they consider the testimony they heard during trials. For example, jurors will be told: "Human memory is not foolproof. Research has revealed that human memory is not like a video recording that a witness need only replay to remember what happened. Memory is far more complex ... Eyewitness identification must be scrutinized carefully." Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said the new instructions to jurors will discourage actions that could help put the wrong person behind bars.
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