Analysis Of Elizabeth Loftus Memory In Canadian Courts Of Law

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In “Memory in Canadian Courts of Law”, Elizabeth Loftus introduces the readers to incidents in Canadian courts where “faulty memory of eyewitnesses” have unintentionally convicted innocent Canadians, causing them to carry a burden of being treated as a criminal even if they were later acquitted in order to use it as a tool to motivate those interested in the court system to display the horrendous flaw of eyewitnesses testifying in courts operating under the adversarial system such as in Canada. The flaw cannot be eliminated “unless or until better proof becomes available for these types of claims”. Ultimately, Loftus wants Canadians who cares about the legal system and the wellbeing of other Canadians who may be confronted with the possibility …show more content…

One of the wrongfully convicted she introduces to her readers is Thomas Sophonow, an innocent civilian “accused of murdering a young waitress” simply because of his physical description coincidentally matching the culprit’s description but more importantly, the procedures that took place when the witnesses were provided with images of possible suspects was outrageously flawed due to faulty witness memories. While Sophonow was eventually acquitted after serving four years in prison, Commissioner Peter Cory says Sophonow is “psychologically scarred for life” as he had to face the four years of suffering in prison and also carry the burden of being wrongly labeled as a criminal as he reintegrates with the rest of society. Sophonow’s co-workers shows evidence of fear against him as they believed he is a “murderer who had gotten off on a technicality.” At a Christmas party, his family would be left isolated from the rest of the co-workers also for the same reason. Loftus wants her readers to be aware of this situation and how it has harmed a family psychologically. She uses this tactic against her readers in order to motivate them to start taking action against the flawed judicial …show more content…

It states “scientific research indicates that identification procedures such as line-ups and photo arrays produce more reliable evidence when the individual line-up members or photographs are shown to witnesses sequentially – one at a time – rather than simultaneously.” By giving the reader such a valuable piece of information from a credible source, it engages Loftus’ readers into going more in depth with the research into finding out more about the recommendations provided. This is an attempt by the author to encourage those who are familiar with the justice system particularly in Canada and the United States who both mainly use the adversarial court system to rise up and take part into bringing in a new method that will protect the defendant while in court from being falsely accused of a crime they did not

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