News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.

Mission

The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

When Eyewitness Testimony Goes Horribly Wrong

By Charlotte Silver | Vice | April 1, 2015

In June 1998, an Orange County, California, bank was robbed. Three men made off with a little over a thousand dollars in cash.

At the time, Guy Miles, a 31-year-old black man from nearby Carson, was in violation of parole. Released from a California prison the year before—after spending two years there for stealing cars from a valet service—he was not permitted to leave the state. Miles wanted to break away from the life of gangs, crime, and prison that he had been locked into since dropping out of high school, according to his family.

So he left for Las Vegas, moved in with his new girlfriend, and kept himself afloat by shuttling between small jobs. Miles concealed his whereabouts from his parole officer by telling him he was staying with his parents in Carson, and every so often he would make a dash through the desert to show up for meetings.

In September 1998, Miles’s parole officer asked him to come in for an impromptu meeting. Waiting for him at the office was a police officer with a warrant for his arrest. Two witnesses who’d been working at the Orange County bank at the time of the robbery had fingered Miles. At trial, his Vegas alibi didn’t hold up against prosecutors’ eyewitness testimonies and Miles and another man, Bernard Teamer, were found guilty. (Teamer had allegedly manned the getaway car.) Continue reading »