The case involves the People of the State of New York against the defendant. The defendant has been charged with three robberies. He allegedly robbed a Gymboree store located on Third Avenue on the 18th of April, 2001 and again on the 15th of June, 2001. He is also charged with robbing the American Airlines office located on Broadway later on the same day of June 15th, 2001.
A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that on the 17th of June, an eyewitness of the robberies at Gymboree picked the defendant’s picture out of a photo line up. A witness of the American Airlines robbery was shown the same group of pictures, but did not make identification.
The defendant was arrested on the 7th of July, 2001 and placed in a series of line ups on the first of August. During the line ups the same two witnesses indentified the defendant. Four other witnesses of the robberies saw the defendant in a line up, but did not identify him.
The case against the defendant is dependent on the accuracy of the eyewitnesses of the case. There is no other corroborating evidence to support the charges that have been made against him. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said there are two different robberies joined in this case each separate robbery will depend on the sole witness of each.
The defendant plans on calling an expert witness, who is a clinical psychologist and a recognized expert in the area of memory and perception. He would testify about the perceptual, cognitive, and social factors including event violence, stress, cross racial impacts, and exposure time that would affect the reliability and accuracy of eyewitness identification. The defendant is relying on the case of People versus Lee that held that the admissibility of this type of expert testimony lies within the discretion of the trial court.
The People have moved to have the testimony of the expert witness precluded from the case.
Court Discussion and Decision
There have been many cases that are similar in this and the rulings have been varied. In this particular case, the only evidence that the plaintiff has against the defendant are the eyewitness accounts. A Nassau Sex Crimes Lawyer said it has already been determined that one of the eyewitnesses did not identify the defendant in the photo lineup, but did recognize him in the actual line up that the defendant was a part of.
The question is whether or not the defendant should be allowed expert testimony regarding the actual reliability of eyewitness accounts. The court finds that the expert testimony should be allowed in this particular situation. The resume of the Doctor’s qualifications has been submitted by the defense and the witness has been involved in several other cases of this type.
The rules of inclusion as shown by other cases of this type are the main reason the court is ruling in this way. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant would have no defense without this testimony and this would be a violation of his basic rights. The ruling in this case is in favor of the defendant and the motion by the People to exclude the testimony of the expert witness is denied.
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