Live and Learn
Well, it looks as though you haven't been reading the articles that are on my web page.  You identified the wrong person.  The fact is that none of these five people is the gunman. And that is one of the simplest and most important points that has come out of research on eyewitness identification.  People have great difficulty when they encounter a lineup or photo spread in which the actual perpetrator is not present.  It is no coincidence that the DNA exoneration cases (cases in which people were convicted of crimes erroneously based on their being falsely identified by one or more eyewitness) are cases in which the actual perpetrator was not in the lineup or photospread.  That is why the instructions to eyewitnesses prior to their viewing a lineup must include a specific and explicit warning that the actual culprit might not be in the lineup.  Even when eyewitnesses are given this warning, there is a natural tendency  for them to select the person who most looks like the culprit relative to the other members of the lineup.  This tendency is what I have called the relative judgment process ( see Wells, G. L., 1984, "The psychology of lineup identifications", Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 14, pp. 89-103).  In addition to having implications for how eyewitnesses should be instructed, the relative judgment process helps to explain why each member of the lineup should fit the general description of the perpetrator.  Notice that the relative judgment process has no mechanism for rejecting the entire lineup.  The relative judgment process can be contrasted with an "absolute judgment process" in which the eyewitness compares each lineup member to his or her memory for the perpetrator and decides whether or not that person is the perpetrator.  In addition to having implications for how eyewitnesses should be instructed and how the fillers in a lineup should be selected, the relative judgment process has led to the development of superior identification procedures, such as the dual-lineup procedure and the sequential lineup procedure.  For a recent discussion of the relative judgment process and the proposals for minimizing this problem, you can download an "in press" article dealing with lineups and photospreads (click here).

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