Eyewitness Testimony And The American Psychological Association

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For centuries, even before the rise of modern law and judicial practices, eyewitness testimony has been a crucial part in reaching verdicts in court. The opinions and observations of bystanders or active participants in a crime scene are often considered to be very valuable in determining the guilt or innocence of accused individuals. However, there has been a large amount of scrutiny in the law world concerning both misappropriated and untrue testimonies administered in courts of law. Although the testimony of individuals can simply be misinterpreted or forgotten due to a variety of reasons, eyewitnesses also provide information that can purposefully incriminate or exonerate a defendant. Ultimately, despite its benefit in putting deserving persons behind bars, the use of eyewitness testimony can absolutely be a dangerous monster for the innocently accused in different scenarios. Despite thorough research supporting the dangers of eyewitness testimony, and the constant press by the American Psychological Association (APA) and different law, psychology, and forensics experts, there are no national guidelines conducting how law enforcement agencies gather eyewitness identifications. In an APA brief, suggested by researchers and the Innocence Project, sent to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, it discussed how juries often don’t understand the factors that can influence a witness’ ability to accurately identify a suspect. Such factors include how much stress a witness is under,

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