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tv   Eye- Witness Identification  Al Jazeera  July 4, 2018 9:00am-10:00am +03

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hello again adrian for the getting here into how the top story is on al-jazeera my laziness former prime minister tonight corruption charges over the disappearance of billions of dollars from a state fund while he was in office. is facing three counts of criminal breach of trust and one of using his position to gain he was arrested by anti corruption investigators on tuesday of course in kuala lumpur. but jeep says the legal action against him is politically motivated for a slew of reports from. former prime minister najib razak has been charged with corruption and three counts of criminal breach of trust involving in total ten million dollars alleged to have been deposited into his personal bank account between december two thousand and fourteen and february two thousand and fifteen
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and these moneys allegedly came from a company known as s r c international a former subsidiary of one m d b a state investment fund that was set up by not yet after he became prime minister in two thousand and nine and the sum of about ten million dollars is a small amount compared to the four and a half billion dollars that knowledge of and his associates are alleged to have embezzled from one m. d. this is an investigation that spent several years in the making not just with first questioned by anti corruption officials several years ago when he was still prime minister and finance minister of this country but that investigation was locked and corruption officials allege they were threatened and told to stop the investigation and the then attorney general had said he had found no evidence of wrongdoing but since a new government came into power following the general election in may his new government has made it its top priority to prosecute people involved in the white collar crimes involving one m. d.
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as well as recovering the stolen funds so far police have questioned other politicians as well as not tips wife. and his stepson resides in. the video's been released showing a time football team in health good. to spite the eleven day ordeal bit below ground food and medical supplies have preached the twelve boys and coach phone lines are being set up so they can talk to the parents it's not yet known how the group of people sounds and heavy rain is expected to hamper rescue efforts in a school hide is in chiang rai obviously that the best case scenario is they're able to get the water level low enough so the boys can either walk or wade through water out but that does not seem likely right now but the water level has been decreasing but this is monsoon season here so they're expecting heavy rains we've been lucky the last few days light red little bit of light rain yesterday today nothing yet but it's not going to last and that's what they're worried about so the contingency the more. risky but more probable option is to have them come out with
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scuba equipment on some of these boys probably can't even swim so that is a challenging and risky option but it's being it's being explored concerns growing over the human cost of the syrian government offensive against rebels in the southern province of data. three hundred thirty thousand people have fled home since the assault began on june nineteenth jordan's refusing to let them in despite a un plea. the united nations is seeking to access to what yemeni prisons run by the united arab emirates where it says a number of prisoners have been tortured and sexually abused by soldiers witnesses provided the associated press news agency with drawings smuggled out of the prisons last month they describe threats and beatings dozens of senior judges have been forced out of the posts of the supreme court in poland after the introduction of a new law which lowers the age at which they have to retire thousands of people have been protesting against the european union is taking legal action against the polish government accusing it of undermining the independence of the judiciary.
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mexico's president and president elect says let mets' the man whose job he's taking and rico pena nieto to discuss his transition to office in december andres manuel lopez obrador won a landslide victory in sunday's election a true tide chilean military officers have been sentenced to fifteen years in prison for their role in the murder of the popular folk singer victor hotta a ninth officer received five years for being an accessory to the caller was killed in one nine hundred seventy three during the u.s. backed coup that installed gusto pinochet to power is the headlines more useful here on al-jazeera the system next. i'm see no nicad you know i got like three nine millimeter just pointed directly
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i'm a face on night what is this a bad ways you come to me and would go a drone for the latest on a green and out of your body peeing me i say ok what's going on cinder you know just to take to be as i'm like no he's a disguise columbo. he's a have you ever seen a t.v. series colombo what's the grownup growing up to watch colombo a few times these days so you know columbo always gets sees me so i'm telling you right now. you we of the family get to sleep in the american criminal justice system enforces our laws and keeps watch over us at first. but who is watching the system. go pro under and i used my camera for twenty years to knock down doors and pursue the truth just now we're going inside the american criminal justice system i'm a judge the law enforcement the elected officials the court system the corrections
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to find out if justice is being served. you know every day in this country thousands of suspects are identified by eyewitnesses and a shocking number of these eyewitnesses get it wrong in fact in all of the d.n.a. exonerations that have happened today seventy percent of them have involved faulty eyewitness identification but what happens when there's no d.n.a. evidence. in dallas christopher scott spent thirteen years in prison trying to get to the bottom of that question and i was working taking care of my family our ways home enough to feed my key is put into being taken to school i was a. everest a guy and when i went in they gad of be kidding me christopher scott's case is one of the hundreds that have been reinvestigated by the dallas county district attorney's office james hamm in the lead the investigation. here's this location two gentlemen went in to protect some drugs gunfire and shoot and the resident at
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this house was killed. when the police arrived they were looking for transportation the area two black males one tall one short the victim witness to c.e.o.'s to be given that description it was reported that she awoke and there were two men in the house and spouse had just been murdered happen pretty quickly within minutes police cars descended upon the scene on the lookout for two suspects an officer passed another car had two black males in it he turned around trying to light on him as they pulled into the driveway off can well. it's all that there was a tall one and shorter one which matched the big description given by the c.s. could beat out and call for backup christopher scott was in that car along with a friend named claude simmons and then you know i got like three now a millimeter just pointed directly i'm a face on my what is this a bad ways you come at me and would go a drone for where you just need to come outside and we'll get away with being situated maybe everything is ok then we're late you go they ended up taking chris
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into custody taking down the play station interviewing down there and if you did having to do it they can only be released how would you as concerned about was being put is out of a podium and have indeed in it be. christopher scott's fate literally his life would hang up on whether or not an eyewitness could correctly identify him. and eye witness of a different race who had just seen a high impact home invasion robbery and murder go down in a matter of seconds. this is when i seen a plot they put me in front of a big glaze window door and i handcuffed me to the beach but everybody else in the room wished. would a pin c.d.'s in the be taken only see me in my head it was day on the tardis early in the morning i raise up a cop walk the lady up and say this is the guy to keep. i'm behind a glass window but i concede like i'm seein you. now i know she didn't.
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see. any. criminal justice system was just beginning another inmate in new orleans was already eleven years deep into a life sentence. in one thousand nine hundred four george toko was identified by two witnesses both of them white who accused coke of accidentally shooting his best friend. in the course of a robbery. all of the time all of the time. you saw eric. marlin the fellow was on active duty on the day of the murder. because of the fall of the store and they will pause here and yes they walk to the car they were confronted by two suspects at least one holding a gun and they demanded property money while the gunman held the female robbery
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victim on the driver's side of the car eric but began to struggle with the male victim. the gunman panicked fired a shot at the passenger and the taste in the head. so when i had received information that eric was dead to first name came to mind was joyce choking. a few hours later marlin to fill the arrested george coca the next day the two witnesses identified using this photo lineup provided by the new orleans police department. and then. from. there. george toca claims he was never there he told police that he spent the night in this motel after attending a high school dance at the superdome. eric but leave the dance with another young man who fits the description of the gunman given by the witnesses. the police in
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his story they had eye witnesses and you have an eyewitness to say i was there i saw him do it i saw him in this robbery that is the best evidence. in one nine hundred eighty five toko was tried found guilty of murder and sentenced to life. is doing hard time in one of the toughest places in the country louisiana's ingall of prison twenty nine years later george's sister sandy is still convinced that he's innocent i think about a village of the. oh they alone you know he's on my mom when i wake up it's like you know i thank god and i say my prayers and i always pray for my brothers. book cover him in such a horrific environment you know and just keep his mind you know keep his sanity i don't remember getting the news and falling all off the porch falling all down in the street and you know just crying out to god like why how you know it is
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unbelievable if he was guilty in a crime didn't act in risk because at least i know you you've been near for something day you have the p.d. job right over from a seventeen year old child to a forty eight year old man crime there shooting camy sandy has never given up on her brother but she's not battling the system alone in fact she has the kind of support and rarely found in a murder case the support of the victim's family. and being falsely accuse incarcerated for something he did not do and that such a young age joyce doli as nephew was eric but the man george hoka was. to the murdering two loving brothers you know they could have been closer no one is listening to us their joint is innocent each day each year it's going to be the year you know you finally get the chance to prove his innocence when he came home
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in till we get it for us my family we can finalize eric's death because we don't have the satisfaction of the person and difficulty of it being punished for it and that somebody else was. whole life is going down the drain for something you didn't do. george told his case raises troubling questions about the procedures used by police to obtain accurate i with this identifications many of these practices a bill in place for years but now they are being put to the test. so we're here at john jay college of criminal justice and then happen to see dr jennifer dyson we're going to do some experiments and i would this identification and i kind of love coming to criminal justice schools and meeting with young people because they haven't yet lost their idealism and they still have a strong belief in the system it's going to remind yourself of what the system can day. i joe berlinger jennifer dyes her pleasure to meet her.
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so tell us what we're what we're going to do today absolutely so i am an eyewitness identification researcher i've been studying the factors that influence eyewitness reliability for about fifteen years and so i thought today we would run you through an experiment so you can see how the research is conducted right and how accurate are i wouldn't say them patients who are studying not only people in the research lab but also witnesses in the real world about thirty percent of the time witness is a real cases who pick someone and say yes that's the person who committed the crime are wrong and i actually have a demonstration if i can i can show you know it ok. so here's an example that like to show you we've called the penny example and the instructions i'll give you is like you take a look at this and tell me which one is the real penny. i would say that is it number four what most people do if they don't immediately recognize the
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person they go to the second process which is can i figure it out like a multiple choice question and so they'll eliminate a bunch one two and three those are a ten eleven twelve are often ghana's in the opposite direction and at the end of the day people narrow down their options and pick the one that is the best and we researchers call that relative judgment relative to the others you pick the one that's the best in fact now i want to switch to number five yes it's number five there were five is actually the most commonly chosen penny but this also demonstrates another very important principle for witnesses in real cases and that is law enforcement are supposed to tell the witness that the real perpetrator or penny may or may not be there so that none of the above and the multiple choice question really is an option and here none of them are actually the real penny. tell me that i did not tell you that just like many law enforcement officers because it's not part of their policy and they're not mandated to do so don't tell
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witnesses in advance keep in mind we might not have the right guy right the real perpetrator may not be here that's not part of their repertoire. but jennifer dicer and other leading researchers believe is that the identification procedures used by the majority of the police departments in this country are outmoded and unscientific that was the case in dallas in one nine hundred ninety seven a witness had just identified christopher scott as the man who shot and killed her common law husband during a robbery he said you know you committed this crime i'm not what crime is this so you know even told me what i would be a book for so i said i'm not answering no more question into you t.m. me who typical cops see you it in the south dream to me what you know so i say we i have to use to reassure me i'll be excused usually he say yeah of course you can go to work so i know when you are one of those rules you when you won't get you look up whatever room you windies when they. and you find in india what i am so when i walked up and i see homeless out. april fifteenth one thousand nine hundred
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five two eyewitnesses testify they see george accidentally shoot his best friend eric but teased during the course of an armed robbery. right. in. tokyo was convicted and has spent more than half of his life in prison he maintains that he's innocent he agreed to talk with us about this case during his weekly phone call to his family. and to make x. comedienne to shake hands very pretty may start a conversation though they think oh i hear oh. call me up a and you'll have everybody feel the way. a comment i would have done. from. every my family call you.
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that i'm going to describe i could kill my best friend. ok they are not there they are full of guilt by association. has been a hell of a very bad day what i love is ok because they will commit a crime. are solid i am five hundred bought a polish gold piece. allow myself to call a reference to. get out i was not the color suspect toca believes that because he is black and the eye witnesses against him were white the odds were stacked against him in a place like new orleans. bigger than the boundary in the middle. of a given time. the female witness got the closest look at the
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shooter she picked out george polk from a photo lineup but toca believes when the witness saw him in court she realized her mistake i think she's really going to be a bunch. of again all of the trial i think i think we're going to push him oh no it would go ok i've been pretty good i mean i was not telling her that i want to know why she had come forward with their current what it was downright mean only she. is still amazed how both witnesses continue to stand by their stories. they have. to get a good look at the. tree stump. don't want to telegraph you know you're going to be very good just three years later. maybe you could be a part of we have learned a lesson i want to. finally come forward oh i don't care if you know me really.
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really fine fine of america fired right here all right you are. probably only on it ok. that. innocence project you won and has always taken on difficult cases cases that take years and years and years to when we took on judges case because he's innocent it's very clear i think most lay people looking at the case can see that he didn't do the crime emily ma is the director of the innocence project in new orleans since two thousand and one she and her staff of help when the zone aeration of twenty wrongfully convicted inmates do is take his conviction is based exclusively on across racial identification by two witnesses who were exposed to procedure by the new orleans police department that has been proven time and time again in every way that the police department conducted it to increase in accuracy and identification the innocence project is arguing that the state willfully ignored those inconsistences and has suppressed efforts to give toca a new trial as
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a lawyer who is frequently challenging convictions when there is new evidence of innocence a court still look to an eye witness and say that the eye witness identified. baffles me that that happens given what we know now by the potential problems with eyewitness identification in the last ten years cognitive psychologist like jen dicer have been shattering the myths surrounding eye witness identification they're like some basic beliefs that i think a lot of people have why would somebody falsely confess or how could you miss identifies. a fascinating thing about the whole system in the process is that generally speaking these are mistaken witnesses who really believe they're accurate they're not lying today dyce art has invited a group of students to her offices at john jay college to demonstrate how police procedures work and how witnesses behave. the students have been told they will be participating in a social science study but that's all they've been told they have no clue about
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what is going to happen next something that takes place here will turn them from in this in bystanders into with this it's just going to be watching a video and then answer questions about it and a lot of thoughts and more minds and hearts just to give your consent to be a part of the study. and look in my eyes on actually happening on the. let me just go grab that i'll be right back to you guys just sit tight for a second. does anybody know vicki she just said she just stepped out on your pick up a laptop on for my t.v. . so i imagine that's. why i. think it's. ok so we can get started i've got my forms pressing my laptop your friend came in.
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my friend looking for vicky teens i have no idea who that was i think someone just on my laptop i guess i should call security. ok as you guys probably guessed already this is part of the experiment and the person that was here we're going to find that was an actual fact that he saw the laptop so it's going to happen that was going to happen and we're going to bring our participants back one at a time we're going to ask them to give a description of the criminal who stole the laptop and then we would show them some photographs to see if they can make a correct id decision ok let's let's bring along the line of questioning utilized here is consistent with the questions that law enforcement used with real eye witnesses starting with the physical attributes of the suspect as much as you can remember about what he looked like what he was wearing any details really that you can remember what i can remember sisters were i think you were in a blue collar unders black sweater white collar top. five nine and six i
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have ten inch harris i kind of grayish not to wait here brown hair and blue jeans hands around us a little bit over medium build so we'll have a you when you think about it most of these answers are pretty they in fact they could have been describing just about any middle aged white man in america. and think about the real world cases we have two african-american man accused of violent crimes that took place in a matter of seconds the men were also identified by witnesses of a different race research has shown these cross racial identifications can be biased when i witness cases are overturned forty percent of the time the witnesses have got it wrong when members of a different race were round in my case they had hispanic latest and she remembered seeing a black guy kid you know a cross racial usually can it you know how could your complete me into a medium height i mean i'm
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a black mean in america you describe and when you describe it you describe what would be most a majority to mean in america they say there are two days in a prison sentence the day you go in and the day you go home for christopher scott that first day never should have happened i take it i wanted sheen. g.s.c. it busy in a day you want to say i say yes ma'am i say convicted to romain in believe me when i tell you this i would be back to fight my case this is not over. back in new york at our eyewitness identification experiment a laptop has been stolen and the witnesses have already given conflicting descriptions of the suspect. the next step is for the investigator in this case vicki to show the witnesses a lineup this is how most police departments do it it's called the six pack six pictures on one page. the next thing i want to do is i'm going to show you
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a lineup of six people that's what you try to find which one is ok. he looks more like the guy on the bottom right. do you think that's him yeah i think that's him in the bottom right i think i'm confident i feel very confident that it was that guy that was that ok. that was bad yes ok why do we call it. was not a not a recommended police practice first all of the individuals were presented at the same time what this tends to result in is witnesses who compare the photos and pick the one who's the best and you could actually almost hear that in the language where it kind of settled on number six. this is just one of the potential errors made by the new orleans police department in the case against george polk the department has become notorious for outmoded police tactics and corruption.
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toko was given a life sentence for the murder of his best friend eric but he's there in the commission of a robbery. the way that the police conducted this procedure was in every way full of creating an inaccurate identification of an innocent suspect in this case george polk said this here is the six pack you can see here this is george toca and these are the fillers that they used at the time of the shooting both the witnesses describe the gunman as being tall and having a medium build george polk is five foot five and weighed just over one hundred pounds it's one of several inconsistency in the accounts given to the police by the eye witnesses was interesting as you can see highlights from here you can see very clearly whether or not george has. for very prominent gold teeth. in a crime went past and who. have spoken there is no way that if they would not have
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noticed his guilty as we are seeing in these identification experiments it's easy for eyewitnesses to get an accurate information i got a good look of his eyes at least i like the way looks like the innocence project case goes much further it accuses the new orleans police department of perverting just. just by mishandling the entire eyewitness identification procedure there is no evidence in the record at all that they were told when they were shown his face who line up that. you know the suspect may or may not be in this line up that is very important to do it and there's been significant bearing this is one of the things that the department of justice recommends foresman agencies do. the new orleans police department declined our request to comment on this case. where were you when this idea. that when they're on line it's undoubtedly chief
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call. of an inequality in our society today or if you join a sunset criminal justice system is dysfunctional right now this is a dialogue what does it feel like bring you have to go back for the first time everyone has a voice and allow refugees to flee the speakers first change join the conversation and announces iraq with over forty thousand people killed under his rule it took twenty five years to bring him to a court of law but why for so long was such a brutal dictator considered an ally of the west who were reporting to the congress that the press were engaged to. al jazeera unravels the history of trads notorious former president is saying had three dictator on trial on al-jazeera.
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hello and hasn't seen here in doha the headlines on malaysia's former prime minister has denied corruption charges over the disappearance of billions of dollars from the state fund while he was in office and was arrested on tuesday and has been granted bail by a court in kuala lumpur new video has been released showing a thai football team in good health despite their eleven day ordeal below ground food and medical supplies have reached the twelve boys and their coach phone lines are being set up so they can talk to their parents it's not yet known how the group will be brought out and heavy rain is expected to hamper rescue efforts scott hyla has the latest from chang right obviously but the best case scenario is they're able to get the water level low enough so the boys can either walk or wade through
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water out but that does not seem likely right now but the water level has been decreasing but this is monsoon season here so they're expecting heavy rains we've been lucky the last two days light read a little bit of light rain yesterday today nothing yet but it's not going to last and that's what they're worried about so the contingency the more. risky but more probable option is to have them come out with scuba equipment on some of these boys probably even swim so that is a challenging and risky option but it's being it's being explored of concerns growing of the human cost of the syrian government offensive against rebels in the southern province of the three hundred thirty thousand people have fled their homes since the assault started on june nineteenth jordan is refusing to let them in despite a un plea for the un is seeking access to yemeni prisons run by the united arab emirates where it says a number of prisoners have been tortured and sexually abused by soldiers witnesses provide the associated press news agency would drawings smuggled out of the prisons
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last month they describe threats and beatings. mexico's president elect has met the man whose job he's taking and rekey pena nieto to discuss his transition to office in december under smen well lopez obrador one of the landslide victory in sunday's election a retired chilean military officers have been sentenced to fifteen years in prison for their role in murdering the popular focusing of victor in one thousand nine hundred eighty three a ninth officer received five years for being an accessory to murder those are the headlines we're back in half an hour right now it's the system here on al jazeera.
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back in new york and our eyewitness identification experiment a laptop has been stolen and the witnesses have already given conflicting
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descriptions of the suspect. but i can members of what i think you are in a blue collar unders black sweater white collar top. five nine and six missions harris i kind of greyish not to put it on white here brown hair. here's the six pack photo lineup that was shown to the witnesses but with their choice of been affected if they were told originally that the actual suspect is not pictured here he also was not told in advance that the actual person who stole the laptop may or may not be there so he's led to believe induced to believe that he is supposed to pick someone who looks more like the guy on the bottom right inducing or guiding a witness to make a decision is a major flaw in the witness identification system and the next witness here in this experiment is proof of how this can happen. i think at the. bottom of the closeness and i'm not confident at that's really him. that's the guy that we
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think is the person to. accuse the costs he's the closest so you can see the witness starting to change their identification decision because of some subtle pressure absolutely. in dallas the eyewitness identification procedure used in christopher scott's case was a powerful tool for the prosecution despite its many flaws they took me straight to my more you know he told me say look. this is capital murder ok when he's dead he saved the life and death is what you mean he's exactly what i see they can be the key to you i give you a life sentence and with no forensic evidence to lean on the prosecution put all of its weight behind the testimony of its star witness i can believe she was seeing where she was seen because. it is like a play is like a movie when you see the prosecutor doing his team with his witnesses lead her into
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all of her questions guided the it is just a guy to be it it is she saying yes it is him i remember him our window if we get him he will in my life i can believe it. cording to george toca the real person who shot and killed his friend eric but tista new orleans is still on the streets and very well i mean. everybody. else you know you should appreciate why it. should wash george's sister sandy had heard rumors about the suspect in the neighborhood but as the years went by she couldn't find anyone who would be willing to talk about it on the record then she got a call from a girlfriend who remembered that the guy she was dating at the time of the murder had shown up visibly shaken by something that had just happened to. his thing that
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morning he came over to the house and you know he had on his muddy clothes and you know got up i was so scared i know was going on it is she talking. i literally dropped the phone but why would you keep there from me knowing that's my brother live on the land we talking about i didn't know at the time a whole lot about the law you know but at the same time i know i needed to do something to help my brother at least get some type of attention talk to somebody less involved or somebody that knows somebody because they were getting into all of this connection sandy went back to the live feed housing complex where she and george grew up. it was a high crime area and a tough place to get information about an old case especially a case that pointed a finger at the police. lawless is one of the words this police force in america any of that has been like there for years i ever since i can remember from
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being a young key everybody will petrified. we grew up in uprising you would even call the police. you understand people would try to handle things on the own because did they have to find to protect in third but it wasn't all protection not a service they were providing and it was a no service so where were bill if it you so you never felt safe it was so much police brutality these kids to start really really growing up when this almost hatred in the one for the police department. the new orleans police and gays in the pattern of practice of conduct that was both discriminatory and unconstitutional and that too often undermined the public's trust and the city's efforts to effectively prevent crime in march of two thousand and eleven the justice department released the findings of a two year investigation of the new orleans police. the report found that wallace police used too much force against civilians who often didn't report it and often
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failed to investigate the use of force darling in order that african-americans were just a portion of the arrested when compared to white citizens the report was explosive it found some of the most widespread dysfunction and corruption in the history. big city policing in america. today the justice department and the city of new orleans filed a consent decree to ensure that local police services are delivered in a manner that is affective in complies with the constitution and the laws of the united states it's an extreme measure and one hundred twenty six pages the federal consent decree is aimed at correcting longstanding patterns of police misconduct and it specifically requires the new orleans police department to completely overhaul its eyewitness identification procedures but as far as george togas lawyers are concerned there is little evidence of change we have a district attorney's office here that has said publicly if all we've got is one eye witness i'm willing to take that case to try one piece of evidence that has
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been shown to be one of the most unreliable kinds of evidence in criminal cases where the consequence is in many of these trials a life without parole i think that is a huge disservice to the citizens of this city if george polk and his supporters are looking for hope that justice will come to new orleans they can take a look at the city of dallas and what happened to another inmate stuck in the system christopher scott. nearly given up hope when he showed his case to a jailhouse lawyer and he read it any made fun of me one time he was like do it is no way in a word you want to get out of prison you've got to mean it when she is on my why you see it when you have no d.n.a. in your case somebody has to come back and say did they actually committed this crime before you get released and i had told him i say you know would almost be out of a meeting to get out of prison for the. case. i'm leanin be it i'm trying to figure out my name may. create.
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the kid from oak cliff. county's next district attorney. not only. for prosecuting those bad guys but i'm responsible for making sure that if someone comes out of the courthouse we're not going to be down there trying to put them in jail for a crime they did and i was elected in two thousand and six i was the first african-american elected in the whole state of texas. being a person of color obviously i have issues with law enforcement it didn't work for me and people look like me. for a long time and so i wanted to come in and make sure that law enforcement worked for community that basically distrusted the thought process was that a da was to protect a conviction at all cost and when i came in i looked at these cases to make sure that if a person was wrongfully convicted that they got their fair day in court and they
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would be exonerated and also we would actually go in pursuit of the actual person that committed the crime in two thousand and seven watkins created a special unit to reexamine those cases he named it the conviction integrity unit and they started on packing case files the unpacking of the case starts with getting all the documents that we can that are available normally that's a transcript of the trial so we can see what happened jim would handle a substantial amount of the factual investigation. and cynthia will handle the legal side. and then we'll all get together and we pose questions to each other so that we challenge the validity of the conviction within a year of the unit was investigating four hundred guilty verdicts and they cleared six men through the use of d.n.a. technology. won't he be exoneration exoneration exoneration and i'm like oh yeah you know it may be china happen to some of us so i
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want to beg writing letters again of people but the real test was clearing someone like christopher scott chris forgot case is one of the first cases that we actually investigated from the standpoint of i winced indication it was a non d.n.a. case. craig watkins was putting his career and the credibility of the conviction integrity unit on the line. if i go with this case based on the subjective information i would just in case my going to ruin the opportunity for us to pursue this program that we have if this individual actually committed the crime and is found out years later so the first thing i did first thing up its first time i've ever done this was i'm going to go go down and talk to him face to face he was in his you know geo uniform. looked him in the eye and ask him. you know i truly believed him when he answered the questions but he didn't commit
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the crime scott's next break came when he met a lawyer from the dallas county public defender's office. this you know i say you do. thank you michel moore was racking up a string of exoneration victories and dallas when i was in prison i seem a shia more on t.v. again god's exonerated and now we stand by it of i can get this lady to represent me i'll probably get exonerated like a week later i get it from dallas canny create walk in southeast sandwich or was appointed my castle and we talked and here i do it i said that from the beginning i can a last hope for a little bit and fighting as much but i didn't do it and never told anybody i did it i completely innocent and i have maintained that the entire time even when i lost hope with the system i maintain my innocence the unthinkable was happening in
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dallas public defenders and prosecutors were working side by side on a wrongful conviction case word was spreading throughout the system that christopher scott's case was mishandled and another person had gotten away with the crime. christopher scott finally caught a break when an inmate serving time for another gun related crime came forward to identify himself. this was the man police should have been looking for. is name is alonzo arty farty had written a letter to the corps and said i did this i was i was not the shooter but i was a good guy i'm sick and you know i want to clear my conscience on this next hardy gave up the shooter it was a man named michael anderson aka de mike you can see how frightened witness making cross racial identification could confuse kalid simmons with dean mike michelmore
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arranged to meet harding he was able to take us through. going to five crack at the house previously kind of scoping out the house because they had actually seen a lot of money in the house going back to the house to steal money during the trial and during the initial investigation. his name along to harvey and my planners come up and. they were known to be committing these robberies that they were robbery mexican drug dealers in the area i've got to give a lot of. because look at the scene and go into the ballistic stuff he's like well there's stuff that is missing and then they knock on the door they open the door. from want to launch a hardee's they recognized the mike from the previous robbery and alonzo hardy was standing by the door to the left and the victim shot at him. and appears to. did strike his body and all that pierced his coat and that and the gun
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. and reinvestigated the scene and put the confession in the evidence together and after thirteen years the first non d.n.a. exonerations case in dallas was fred could this mean freedom for christopher scott and cause simmons. quite soon in christopher scott. we're both in the same courtroom receiving life sentences twelve years ago today their names clear the evidence supports the final finding factually and each defendant in these two cases are actually innocent. two individuals for capital murder in crimes in which they didn't commit i wasn't angry i wasn't being about the situation i was happy i had my time to be made and in prison i had my time to be be in prison it was no time for me because i didn't
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want the stagnate my growth that what i'm trying to do i have. to try to force see him make happen when christopher scott was released from prison the state of texas compensated him with a million dollar settlement he never forgot what it was like to wear that white jumpsuit every day so he built a store and filled it with color and style. and when an inmate is exonerated or if they serve time with scott he helps them to get back some of their dignity with a fresh set of clothes to go which is. good. christopher's mean where. he was in prison. you know what i mean real but the stories really homebase from the system changing work he does with the band the fellow exonerates each falsely identified by an eyewitness even phillips twenty six years for
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a crime he didn't commit. twenty five years for a crime committed they call themselves the house of renewed hope and what we do is we receive many many managers individual this imprison this claiming their innocence in we read they cases we read they try and train scripts in it we feel like it's something that we can't. do a shoot to be done we dig deep into the case christopher scott's exoneration was a watershed moment for the criminal justice system in the city of dallas the police department under intense public pressure decided to change their outmoded eyewitness identification procedures basically it was an opportunity to look at. the research that was out there ron waldrop is the former assistant police chief he helped to spearhead the changes in procedure we showed him the facts here is how many have been overturned by the n.s.a. and here's what the research said the first step was to embrace the findings of
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researchers like gen dicer time in two thousand and thirteen dicer along with ron waldron helped to publish a groundbreaking national institute of justice report the report breaks down the steps that law enforcement agency should take in order to make their eyewitness identification procedures more accurate and fair we agreed and pushed for him to be a test city we took every step that the research indicated was beneficial and we put it in the system. move the dallas police department away from what are considered bad practices like the ones we've seen so far in the experiment so to recap the laptop was stolen investigator showed the witnesses a six pack lineup this guy picked number six the wrong suspect this woman was coerced into picking number five. now the way we changed it in dallas they would parallel and then they would give all the admonitions to going to be a group autographs keep in mind that it's just as important they are innocent
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people as right and i don't think it's things that you tell the witness that are important for them to know the people that you see in the photograph might not look exactly like they did at the time that you saw them because some pictures might change the person who committed the crime may or may not be in the past you see keep that in mind the bass the person looking at the lineup that no matter if they have then a fight about you're not the place you're going to continue to investigate whether you make and i don't. and the investigation is going to continue they would take it to a blind administrator so that's when the officer detective who's showing the images are the people should know who the suspect is in the case and that's so that they can't unconsciously or consciously influence the witness in any way then they show in terms of question we want to time. there can't be any unintentional i'm starting to watch and they have to make an independent decision on each photograph as they go through now witnesses are less likely to make a mistake pick an innocent person if the images are just show one at
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a time. and that gets us to the fifth recommendation ask the witness the idiot lee after they make their identification how certain they are now. are you. pretty confident turns out this witness is right the suspect was not in the lineup. really seem like such basic and obvious things it's surprising that everyone doesn't do it is a resistance or education it's a little bit of both. being frank the resistance across the country is more from prosecutors than it is from law enforcement you know law enforcement want the tools that are the most effective to help them with their job and they're generally speaking receptor receptive to these kinds of reforms you're not going to limit my mistakes witness and identification you just try to make it as. as good a system as you can to minimize the mistakes and then understand that mistakes can
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still be made and rely on other investigative minds to try to resolve them before anybody spends or laugh in prison for something they didn't do. since the day george toko was arrested convicted and sentenced for the killing of his best friend eric betty least he has said he did not do it by two thousand and ten after twenty four years behind bars momentum was finally building for george polk. he was granted a post conviction hearing to present new evidence a criminal court in new orleans if you're in was the culmination of years of amateur detective work by his sister sandy who never lost hope and nobody even second guessed that i know even downey with the innocence project helping sandy coax a number of reluctant witnesses to come forward many who pointed the finger at another suspect. when you look at his physical description exactly matches the
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description initially given by the two witnesses to the crime june sixteenth two thousand and ten george polk is post conviction relief hearing open in new orleans for new witnesses testified another man shot eric battista nine affidavits were presented tokens lawyers made the case that research on cross racial identifications prove them to be biased then judge julian parker ended the hearing . tearful testimony today from the victim's family was not enough to grant george hope that chance at freedom several other witnesses said that another man confessed about judge julian parker dismissed those claims. jersey nearly said yeah all those do it all right all right out of the was there day and the judge literally sit there and so everybody in the court. you know where they come from after twenty some years but he don't know who paid them of is if i went to these people and literally paid the money to come forward the state actually argued in that hearing
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that it was a conspiracy of people from the feet high sing projects to free one of their own we all wanted to start scream and shout in but we knew not to do that because we'd be locked up so we left the courthouse with that type of feeling feeling that he was trying to give us and consideration but as far as we was concerned he gave us enough consideration. the innocence project has filed an appeal but as every year passes george hokum by gets harder and harder to prove his innocence. in the face of attrition i want to think that that's what on. earth of all the drugs crime i mean if it weren't for the figure on itself not what we're going to hear every brick of arctic air growing up your initial. a long queue fighting to the day he's really.
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a monkey searching a somewhere in. need to talk to the councilman i need to talk to the seller. i'm not both with. you know to we as of just as move slow but they do move in i just think at the right time right place it could be fixed but it's up to us to fix it because this where we've had the got to vote to put the right people in the right positions to make the changes that we need not criminal justice system. this is one of the most far i've heard of our judicial system what to do with children examining juvenile justice he didn't adult crime he's got to face an adult sons adolescents should not be denied the rest of their lives protections that are
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taken i think you took your rights is just as guilty as suffers the same consequences that's the law exploring the dark side of american justice system with joe burden on al-jazeera. and i bet it is dry and it is pretty hot now across many parts of the middle east in fact in the west in parts of the temperatures for some of us soaring nearly a fifty degrees forty seven or forty eight baghdad further east you see the winds feeding down from the north will pick up a little bit of dust and haze made that sunshine of little bit milky at times then you can see the showers that we've got as you head up towards kazakstan and a couple of those could turn out to be rather heavy they've been with us for a while and they'll stick around for at least another few days before the towards the south and here in doha we'll see temperatures of around forty one or forty two degrees and that's because it's a little bit humid here at times so it's feeling
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a bit sticky there's a barrel cloud around of a process saudi arabia and just stretching down towards a man i don't think it really will give us any rain at all but it will just make the cloud just hidden a little bit and that stretches down into parts of yemen as well as we head through into the day friday as we head down towards the southern parts of africa we've been seeing some rather lively weatherhead lots of cloud just grazing the far south coast and that's been giving us a few problems in cape town well cape town itself haven't seen a great deal of snow only on table mountain but elsewhere the snow is really being quite deep these pictures are from cherry farm inches sarah is where clearly the snow has been very very deep indeed it looks like all of that is now over there.
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the final version. of. news is happening faster than ever before from different places from different people and you need to be part of that you need to be able to reach people wherever they are and that means being across all social media platforms this is where our audience lives as well as in front of a t.v. they're on the smartphone they're on that's how that they're on the season. and that's the way al-jazeera is of all into the true media network. seen but rarely heard india's two million street children live the desperate existence when he meets the child reporters from the slum dog press for giving a voice to india's invisible children on al-jazeera.
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the borders are closed and there's nowhere to run tens of thousands of civilians see safety at our fence it continues in southern syria. has a seeker this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up rescue crews are taking no chances and it could be days possibly even months for the boys found trapped in a flooded cave in thailand will be brought to the surface. malaysia's former prime minister appears in court and denies he stole.


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