Eyewitness evidence has always been considering critical information when it comes to court trials and convictions. But how reliable are eyewitnesses? Scientific research has shown that eyewitness’s memories are often not accurate or reliable. Human memory is very malleable and is easily changed by suggestion. Relying on eyewitness evidence instead of scientific data often leads to wrongful convictions. Scientific evidence is much more reliable, and should be more important in court cases than eyewitness evidence.
Eyewitness testimony has long been viewed as important evidence in court cases. The general population believes eyewitness identification more than any other evidence, even if the witness account is conflicting with the other evidence presented. Studies show that eyewitness testimony is unreliable, and yet it is still considered the most important form of evidence. People think that if a person says they saw something then it must have happened. Currently there are no universal guidelines on how to obtain and present such evidence. The purpose of this paper is to explain why eyewitness testimony is unreliable, and discuss the proposed guidelines on how law enforcement agencies should gather identifications, as well how
Research studies in relation to eyewitness testimony have been going on for hundreds of years. A study done in 1999 by Marcus D. Durham and Francis C. Dane at Mercer University, looked at ways to assess prospective jurors’ knowledge of the factors that may influence eyewitness behavior. Those factors include topics such as race, memory processes, age, and stress. In addition, the researchers “compared students’
Researcher Elizabeth Loftus, encapsulated the reliability of human memory and the notion about the inaccuracy of eyewitness accounts. She hypothesized that if eyewitnesses are asked questions with false presuppositions, the erroneous information will be incorporated into the witness’s memory and alter the memory of the witnessed event.
“Wrongfully convicted at age 25, Calvin Johnson received a life sentence for the rape of a Georgia woman after four different women identified him. Exonerated in 1999, he walked out of prison a 41-year old man. The true rapist has never been found, (The Justice Project).” Eyewitness testimony is highly relied on by judges, but it can not always be trusted. Approximately 48% of wrong convictions are because of mistaken identity by eyewitnesses (The Psychology of Eyewitness Testimony). After we discovered this information, we became curious as to whether in a testimony, the eyewitness’ memory is more reliable after a short period of time or after a longer period of time? According to previous experiments, eyewitness testimony is unreliable. Likely, we want to know if a testimony that is given two to three hours after a crime has taken place is more reliable than a testimony given after a longer period of time.
In sum, we can conclude that eyewitness memory still hold important place in investigation and prosecution process yet it is flawed. Based on research that I reviewed in this paper, there are several aspects that important to enhance eyewitness memory such as the repetition and precision-accuracy trade off. In contrast there are some factors that can threatens quality of memory such as such as avoiding co-witness situation, less focus on the confidence level to measure accuracy and delayed effect. These factors need to be prioritize to create a better environment to recall accurate information.
Eyewitness identification commonly involves selecting possible suspects from a police lineup or a police sketch. Eyewitnesses are encouraged to compose a statement, after selecting a subject. At the trial, months or even years later, witnesses share what happened in court. Eyewitnesses with psychological disorders, such as substance dependence or antisocial personality disorder, are at a higher risk for criminal involvement and false identifications. Although a few eyewitness reports are correct, jurors should not welcome them without further evidence. Jurors frequently grant extra weight to the eyewitness account who report with confidence, however studies show that confident eyewitnesses are at times only slightly more accurate than those
Eyewitness evidence can be fundamental when it comes to solving crimes, however, with the increasing number of cases now being exonerated by DNA evidence, the questions lies, what degree of confidence should be placed on the evidence of the eyewitnesses alone? Countless factors are associated with the accuracy and consistency of eyewitness evidence, such as line up content, line up instructions, the questioning techniques of interviewers and notably the gender and/or age of the witness. Eyewitness testimony may not always be accurate, but despite its weaknesses, by using empirical studies to guide reforms, eyewitness testimony can be an extremely beneficial instrument in the criminal justice system. Inaccurate evidence is not necessarily
This paper examines six research articles that include research conducted on both eyewitness testimony and plea bargaining, while also reviewing a dataset from a study conducted on both issues. The main questions addressed here are whether or not eyewitness testimony affects court proceedings as a whole and how eyewitness testimony affects the outcome of the plea bargaining process. Each article covered presents different opinions and ideas on this topic, offering a non-biased overview on the matter at hand. While these articles may present different ideas the general definitions as to what eyewitness testimony consists of, along with what a plea bargain is remains consistent. The dataset that is reviewed was pulled from Pezdek’s study, “Influence
‘The language used in eyewitness testimony can alter an individual’s memory’, the Loftus and Palmer study was carried out to test that hypothesis. Two experiments were carried out within the study. The study had a quasi-experimental design. Experiment one involved forty-five students participates, the participants were shown various films of automobile accidents, after the participants viewed the films they were questioned about what they have just seen. A number of questions specific to the automobile accident were presented in a questionnaire to the participants, however the question contained a paramount question of interest, this being
Eyewitness may have huge impact on the court decision. Witness testimony only relies on human memory. The memory of witness is very important not only in criminals identification but in civil cases as well. For instance, in car accident, eyewitness testimony plays great role in determining who is in fault. In many cases eyewitness played crucial role in court's outcomes. But there is also great risks of relying only on witness identification because, in fact, human memory is far from perfect or in another word permanent. Forgetfulness of human life is a natural fact.
The witness claims to be approximately 40 years old and testified that he understands Dari and Pashto, but can read very little. He has lived in the house that he currently lives in most of his life and there are currently thirty-four people living on the family compound, which has four houses on it. Their father who died approximately ten years ago at the age of 65 owned the family compound. Their father suffered from Diabetes, high blood pressure and “heart problems”. Their mother died approximately 25 years ago of “shortness of breath.” According to the witness, none of the other family members have any illnesses.
Researchers are constantly looking for shortcuts that will enhance the way humans are able to recall new and existing information. Memory is a complicated process that relies on a series of conditions and stimuli for further processing. The complexity of memory has led to a wide range of research. In particular, the impact of emotion-provoked memory is profound, with many possible implications in education, marketing, entertainment, and politics (Schmidt, 1994).
Whenever a crime takes place, eyewitnesses who are present on the scene can help the police or authorities when the crime is being investigated. However, eyewitness memory can be affected by a series of factors.
When the witness is finished, the interviewer returns to specific aspects of the account to ask more question. Finally, the interviewer summarizes for the witness what was said. Prentiss takes an additional step, which is not necessarily part of a typical cognitive interview, by inducing a light trance that will link the girl’s memory holistically to its original context, including both sensory and cognitive components. This raises the issue of forensic hypnosis and the Encoding Specificity Principle.