Causes Of Eyewitness Testimony

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Intellectuals and experts alike share a common belief that the most significant cause of unjust convictions is due to inaccurate eyewitness testimonies. Scepticism of the validity of eye witness testimonies has increased dramatically; scientific credibility of forensic evidence has weakened its reliability. Thus, resulting in this being the dominant root of false convictions (Coolican, 1996). In 2007, The Innocence Project stated that over 75% of unjust convictions contained eye witness testimonies (Innocence Project, 2007). Further studies have also had comparable results, for example Brandon & Davies (1973). Is it feasible that an individual’s memory is so imprecise that it is unreliable in producing faultless memory recall? Furthermore, if memory is so undependable why is it still frequently used in the criminal justice system today if the consequence is innocent people being incarcerated?
Historically, eyewitness testimony has been frequently practised, and has played a consequential role in the conviction of criminals. Monumental amounts of unsolved crimes lacking sufficient evidence has meant that an eyewitness testimony could help secure a much-needed verdict in an otherwise unsolvable crime. However, in this contemporary society, experts claim that many factors can be responsible for faulty eyewitness testimony. For example, post incident events, most specifically suggestive police strategy (Brace and Byford, 2012). Milgram’s (1963) study into obedience highlighted
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