The Innocence Of Eyewitness Testimony

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Introduction Research shows that jurors place more value on eyewitness testimony than any other important form of evidence, including DNA. (Anderson, T. M.,2015). More often than we might think, the eyewitness testimony is false, ultimately leading to false convictions, and possibly the death of an innocent person. According to the Innocence Project (2014), inaccurate eyewitness testimonies and identifications make up about 72% of the current 329 wrongful convictions that have been later overturned with DNA evidence. Thankfully, as technology advances, this issue has been put in the limelight with a large number of eyewitness conviction cases being exonerated by DNA evidence. The Innocence Project in New York City advocates DNA testing to exonerate wrongfully convicted people. Of a list of 310 exonerated individuals (as of July 8th, 2013), they were typically convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony and spent an average of 13.6 years in confinement before being released. This number is only a small portion of the large number of wrongful convictions that occur because DNA evidence is not available in all cases. (Lacy, J. W., & Stark, C. E. 2013). Science has come such a long way with allowing us to get the truth through DNA and because it shows certainty, it should be all that is considered when presenting a case to jurors and finalizing a verdict.

Eyewitness testimony is not a reliable source of honest information for a number of serious yet often overlooked

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