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Jennifer Thompson and Eyewitness Testimony

StoryFebruary 25, 1997
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Laura Flanders

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


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.


A rape victim who misidentified her attacker. She is profiled in tonight’s Frontline story on wrongful conviction.


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.

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.

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