Court rules against man convicted by eyewitness ID

January 11, 2012 - 10:35 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has declined to extend constitutional safeguards against the use of some eyewitness testimony at criminal trials, ruling against a New Hampshire man who was convicted of theft.

The court voted 8-1 Wednesday to turn away Barion Perry's claim that courts should be able to exclude eyewitness testimony when identifications are made under suggestive circumstances, even when there is no evidence of manipulation by the police.

Judges already can bar testimony when the police do something to influence a witness to identify a suspect.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her opinion for the court that in cases with no police misconduct, juries can weigh the reliability of eyewitness testimony.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a dissenting opinion.

The case is Perry v. New Hampshire, 10-8974.