Jennifer Thompson and Eyewitness Testimony

February 25, 1997


Laura Flanders

host of "RadioNation" on the national Air America Radio network.

Eyewitness testimony is often considered solid evidence in a
court of law, particularly in certain crimes such as rape.
But a troubling new Frontline documentary airing on PBS
tonight raises new doubts about eyewitness testimony. The
documentary — "What Jennifer Saw" — highlights the case of
Jennifer Thompson, a rape victim who misidentified her
attacker and helped send him to jail for 11 years.


BEN LOETERMAN, the producer of "What Jennifer Saw,"
which airs tonight on PBS and focuses on the wrongful
conviction of Ronald Cotton as a window onto the issue of
eyewitness reliability.

JENNIFER THOMPSON, a rape victim who misidentified
her attacker. She is profiled in tonight’s Frontline story on
wrongful conviction.

BARRY SCHECK, the head of the Innocence Project at
Cardozo Law School in New York. Although he rose to national
prominence in the O.J. Simpson case, for many years Barry
Scheck has pioneered the use of DNA evidence in winning
freedom for those wrongfully convicted and jailed.