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Dumbfounded by city attorney's quote

January 22, 2011

The words by City Atty. Scott Howard on the false incarceration case ("Glendale to pay $1.7M in settlement," Jan. 18) left me dumbstruck.

"The matter is now concluded and everyone hopes we can move on," he said. What? No lessons learned? The city staff has just had a $1.7-million lesson handed to them by two courts, and the response is that we simply "move on?"

The probable cause of the arrest was reportedly based in large part on eyewitness testimony, which is notoriously prone to error.

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In an article published in the Stanford Journal of Legal Studies, a professor of psychology and a professor of law reported on studies that show how frequently subjects erroneously remembered events. In a city that experiences very few murders annually, perhaps the investigative error was due in large part to the lack of exposure to this crime by Glendale law enforcement.

Eyewitness testimony makes for great television court drama, but too often it leads to wrongful convictions.

Herbert Molano

Tujunga

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