After considering the growing body of scientific research regarding the reliability of eyewitness identification, the ban against trial judges giving jury instructions on this topic was lifted
State v. Mahmoud, 2016 BL 264503, Me., No. And-15-147, 8/16/16.
The Maine Supreme Court joined a multitude of other jurisdictions in allowing trial judges to give jury instructions regarding the fallibility of eyewitness identification. This overturns a ban to such instructions that has been in place since 1989. The court held, “In light of the voluminous body of scientific research that has emerged regarding the reliability of eyewitness identification, and the subsequent evolving trend among both state and federal courts to instruct juries on this matter, we conclude that it is permissible, where relevant, to instruct jurors on the reliability of eyewitness identification.”
The court did add one caveat, that these instructions would not need to be used in every case. One example the court provided was that such instructions are unnecessary when the identified person was already known to the witness.
Similar instructions are allowed in Utah under the Model Utah Jury Instructions, Second Edition.