True Witness: Cops, Courts, Science and the Battle against Misidentification / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 38%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $14.00   
  • Used (20) from $1.99   


Honest but mistaken eyewitnesses are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States. As the innocent go to prison their lives are shattered; as the criminal goes free, the public remains vulnerable. With a vivid cast of brilliant scientists, street-wise cops, and former prosecutors—all haunted by the legacy of wrongful convictions, some directly involved with one—Doyle sheds light on the intersection of personal ambition, legal and political principles, and scientific inquiry. He highlights real possibilities for improved identification, their challenges to the legal tradition, and persuasively argues that the promises of improved justice must be realized before another wrongful conviction lets the guilty go free. This is an important look at a pressing issue in the news with every exoneration.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jim Doyle's new book, True Witness, could not have come at a more opportune time to help inform and shape the growing and intensifying national debate about the value and reliability of eye witness identification testimony. A factual story that reads like fiction, not like an academic treatise, Doyle's book will attract and hold the attention of people on all sides of this important issue. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, police investigators, jurists and the public cannot help but benefit from exposure to True Witness.

—William J. Bratton, Chief of Police, Los Angeles, and former Police Commissioner of New York City and Boston

"True Witness moves like a novel as it provides the reader with real people facing enormous odds against the flaws of eye witness identification, yet often emerging victorious. Any reader who is fascinated with the criminal justice system will love this work — cheering for the innocent as well as those who catch the guilty. You cannot put this book down."

—Rikki Klieman, Trial Attorney, Today Show Legal Analyst and Court TV Anchor

"As someone who has been in the forefront of the battle against mistaken identification, I can say that Doyle has captured the tensions and challenges, the characters and the issues, like no one else."

—Elizabeth Loftus, co-author of Witness for the Defense and The Myth of Repressed Memory

"Anyone who is interested in knowing why eyewitnesses make mistakes — the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions and how best to prevent those errors should buy this very readable book."

—Barry Scheck, Cardozo Law School, Co-Director, The Innocence Project

"Doyle’s work is a gem, its words fly by, its message sinks in deeply–how to avoid convicting the innocent and letting the guilty go free. His tale of colorful characters, memorable cases, three-cornered battles among police, prosecutors and defenders produces a singular insight into how, in the real world, we can make things better. Where we have failed for years, James Doyle shows us how we may finally succeed."

—James B. Zagel , United States District Judge, Former Director, Illinois State Police

Library Journal
Imagine being unjustly accused of a crime and then being sent to prison after an eyewitness testifies that you are guilty. The nightmare of mistaken identity happens more often than one might think. Honest but often mistaken, eyewitnesses are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States, and for every innocent person who goes to jail a criminal goes free. Doyle, a leading legal authority on eyewitness testimony, here considers the many failures of eyewitness testimony. He provides an analysis of the role of memory and echoes the warning of early psychologists that honesty is no guarantee of reliability and that a witness's certainty is no proof of accuracy. Jurors place remarkable implicit faith in eyewitness testimony even though they have no idea how accurate an eyewitness's memory may be. Fortunately, advancements in DNA testing are beginning to supersede eyewitness accounts. Highly recommended for all libraries and criminal justice collections.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403964304
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,021,293
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

James M. Doyle is a veteran litigator, the leading legal authority on eyewitness testimony and the coauthor, with Elizabeth Loftus, of Eyewitness Testimony: Civil and Criminal, "The Bible" for lawyers. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


• I Was as Sure as I Could Be

• Only the Lawyer Is Obdurate: Professor Munsterberg Battles Dean Wigmore

• The Lawyers' Art: Bad Verdicts from Good Witnesses

• Nobody Likes a Smart Ass: Bob Buckout Joins the Battle

• The Book on the Street: The Cops, the Courts, and the Eyewitnesses

• We Took Loftus Seriously: Elizabeth Loftus and the Science of Memory

• Thinking about Seeing: The Accelerating Study of Eyewitnesses

• When Justice Is Done in the Courts: Three Prosecutors Meet the Psychologists

• DNA to the Rescue (of Some)

• Break Out Shot: Gary Wells and the System

• A Technical Working Group: The Police Craft a New Book

• A Road Ahead: The Continuing Study of Wrongful Convictions

• An Endgame: Looking Back on Gary Graham

• Notes

• Current Events: A Short Bibliographical Note

• Acknowledgments

• Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 3, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    A great book associates the psychological research discoveries with practical criminal cases. I read it for a law class assignment but was absolutely attracted.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)