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Preventing Wrongful Convictions: Assessing Identification Evidence in the Digital Age
AdvisorMarsh, Shawn C
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AbstractWhile wrongful convictions may have a higher profile in the USA (given, among other factors, that the death penalty is still prevalent in that country and so the consequences of wrongful convictions are more severe), they are a significant concern in Canada as well. Faulty identification evidence has been implicated in wrongful convictions in Canada and so the forensic science that explicates when such evidence is reliable and when it is not has general importance for the criminal justice system and particular importance in the prevention of wrongful convictions. In recent years, the introduction and growth of social media have added further contaminants potentially affecting identification evidence which have, increasingly, been recognised by the courts. However, the full implications of social media’s deleterious effects in this area are not yet fully understood. More forensic, scientific study of the impact of social media on the reliability of identification evidence is accordingly warranted.