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Second Circuit Relies on Paul, Weiss Brief in Case Reconsidering Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony Client News Pro BonoLitigation Share this See Also Pro BonoLitigation Share this As reported in the New York Law Journal, on October 15, the Second Circuit issued an opinion in Young v. Conway, No. 11-830, largely affirming the district court's grant of habeas relief for petitioner Rudolph Young. Mr. Young had been convicted of robbery and burglary in 1993 after an eyewitness identified him at a line-up and then again in court. The district court had vacated the convictions because it determined that those identifications were not reliable and that the source of the in-court identification was not independent of the improper out-of-court lineup. The Second Circuit's opinion relied heavily on an amicus brief filed by Paul, Weiss on behalf of the Innocence Project, which presented dozens of social science studies concerning the many factors that affect the reliability of eyewitness testimony. The court cited a number of the same studies in concluding that a number of factors, many of which are counter-intuitive, affected the reliability of the eyewitness's identifications. Because the impermissible testimony prejudiced the petitioner, the court affirmed the lower court's vacatur of Mr. Young's convictions. The opinion represents a step towards the judiciary's greater recognition and approval of the body of scientific literature concerning the reliability of eyewitness testimony. The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partner James Brochin and associates Jennifer Wu and Laura Sedlak. October 16, 2012

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