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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Rather Interesting FOI Data Request...

A Cook County judge ruled Monday that the Chicago Police Department does not have to turn over the underlying data from a controversial study on eyewitness identification methods that critics and academics have called junk social science.

Defense lawyers led by a group from Northwestern University Law School's Roderick MacArthur Justice Center sued the city and the Police Department to get the data from a 2006 study led by a Police Department lawyer.

The study purported to show that the traditional method of police lineups in which witnesses see all the subjects at once was more accurate than a method in which witnesses are shown subjects one at a time by an officer who does not know the identity of the suspect.

Although academics have dismissed the Chicago study as unscientific, several law enforcement agencies across the country have held it up as a bulwark against changing their own lineup procedures, said Scott Ehlers of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a lobbying group that filed the suit.

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