Educating a Jury on Eyewitness Testimony: Using Jury Instructions is a Better Approach than Expert Testimony
Eyewitness testimony experts are called to testify during criminal trials to explain the unreliability of eyewitness identifications. These experts describe to the jury how human memory works and try to create some doubt in the eyewitness’s testimony. But are these experts really necessary when other methods can be used to create doubt in eyewitness testimony? This Comment discusses why eyewitness testimony experts should not be allowed to testify and the admissibility of eyewitness testimony experts throughout the country, primarily focusing on Illinois. This Comment also mentions New Jersey v. Henderson, which discusses the adoption of expansive jury instructions for eyewitness testimony. Ultimately, this Comment encourages Illinois to implement jury instructions similar to New Jersey instead of allowing eyewitness testimony experts to testify.