Defender Summer School’s Facial Recognition Software and Eyewitness Identification Series

Last month, Robert Wesley, Public Defender for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, hosted the 2018 Defender Summer School at Barry University in Orlando. The seminar included three forensic science sessions.

Facial Recognition Software

In this session, Clare Garvie discusses the current use of facial recognition software, with specific focus on applications in the Orlando area. Orlando law enforcement agencies have access to a database maintained by the Polk County government that collects searchable images of faces throughout the state of Florida. This explores the limitations of that software, how to determine if this software was used in a pending criminal case, and explores how to incorporate this software in to your theory of defense. This course also explores the recent partnership of Amazon and the Orlando Police Department in using facial recognition software through the City of Orlando.

Clare Garvie, J.D.

Clare Garvie is an associate with the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law. She was a co-author and the lead researcher on The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America, a report that examines the widespread use of face recognition systems by state and local police and the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties consequences of this new technology. Her current research focuses on the use of face recognition-derived evidence in criminal cases, and she serves as an informational resource to public defenders, advocates, and journalists. She received her J.D. from Georgetown Law and her B.A. from Barnard College. Previously, she worked on human rights and international criminal law with the International Center for Transitional Justice.


Eyewitness Identification Investigations

In this session. Dr. James Michael Lampinen focuses on the exploration of an eyewitness defense from a factual perspective. Factors such as cross-racial identification, weapon focus, and suggestive lineups are discussed. After this course, an attorney will know what facts will tend to show a witness may have misidentified a client and how to construct a theory of defense around them. This course also touches on facts that can be used in a suppression motion.

Dr. James Michael Lampinen, Ph.D.

Dr. James Michael Lampinen’s research focus is on basic and applied aspects of memory and face perception. His basic research has examined the subjective experience of true and false memories for words, objects, stories and events. Dr. Lampinen has conducted research trying to understand why some memories, although false, nonetheless seem subjectively compelling—as real as real. These surprisingly compelling false memories have been called “phantom recollections.” On the flip side, Dr. Lampinen has published a number of studies on the strategies people use to avoid false memories — memory editing strategies. Most recently, Dr. Lampinen has looked at the development of those strategies in children.

Dr. Lampinen’s applied research primarily involves applications of memory research to legal settings. A major focus of his research is on applications of memory and face perception theories to the problem of eyewitness identification. In 2012, Dr. Lampinen published a book on the topic with Jeff Neuschatz, and Andrew Cling. He also conducts research on the ability to spot individuals one has been told be on the lookout for — e.g., wanted fugitives, missing persons. Dr. Lampinen calls this “prospective person memory.” Dr. Lampinen and his colleagues have found that people are often quite poor at noticing people that they have been asked to be on the lookout for and we try to understand why that is, and how to improve performance. Relatedly, his lab has also conducted research on forensic age progression.

Dr. Lampinen is a scientist interested at a basic level in how human cognition works. But he also believes it is important to use this knowledge to help improve people’s lives and his lab is committed to both of these endeavors.


In-Court Identifications, Manson Factors, and Florida’s New Eyewitness Statute

Alexis Agathocleous picks up from Dr. James Michael Lampinen’s course on eyewitness identifications, and discuss legal strategies to be used in a case where eyewitness identification is at issue. This includes in-court identification procedures, constructing cross-examinations, and suggestions for jury instructions. This course will also address recent Florida legislation on the topic of eyewitness identifications and arguments for law change surrounding the Manson factors.

Alexis Agathocleous, J.D.

Alexis Agathocleous is a staff attorney in the Innocence Project’s strategic litigation unit, where he focuses on law reform efforts around eyewitness identifications. Prior to joining the Innocence Project in 2017, Mr. Agathocleous was Deputy Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), where he litigated federal civil rights cases involving prisoners’ rights, gender and LGBTQ justice, racial and religious profiling, and the criminalization of dissent. Previously, he was the Director of the Reinvestigation Project at the Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) in New York City, where he also represented indigent defendants on appeal from felony convictions as a senior staff attorney. Mr. Agathocleous was a Karpatkin Fellow with the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and graduated from Brown University in 1997 and Yale Law School in 2003.