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Brownback Signs Law Changing Eyewitness Policies in Kansas

Research indicates that eyewitness testimony often leads to false convictions.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill requiring law enforcement agencies to develop policies for dealing with eyewitnesses. The legal aid group, the Innocence Project, says eyewitnesses are too often mistaken. Since DNA testing has become widely available, more than 175 people who were wrongfully convicted based on eyewitness identification have been later proven innocent. Michelle Feldman, the Innocence Project's state policy director, says DNA evidence has exonerated three people in Kansas who were wrongly convicted of crimes because of mistaken eye witnesses.

All Kansas police agencies will now have to adopt written policies regarding the procedure to reduce wrongful convictions. Feldman says 16 other states have implemented similar requirements.

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