The New Jersey Supreme Court's decision making it easier to challenge
eyewitness identifications is a great development. Such identifications are more unreliable than people realize and, even
more than false confessions, are a fertile source of wrongful convictions.
False Confessions are hardly the only source of injustice. The New York
Times recently ran an article about a man who may have served an extra year in prison because of a typographical error. (He
was apparently sentenced to two years, but the transcript erroneously said three.) His protests were ignored until
it was too late. The article quotes his attorney as saying that the case reflects a system that is "unfairly skeptical
and flippant toward defendants." Exactly.