Essay On Eyewitness Identification

419 Words2 Pages
Eyewitness identifications can ruin the lives of innocent people and cause them to live their life behind bars for a crime they didn’t commit. Eye witness testimonies can be the deciding factor for a criminal trial, but the the reliability of the eye witness testimonies is not always as accurate as we assume. Although eyewitness identifications can be very beneficial in solving a case, there have been countless instances where the eyewitness identification has been incorrect due to multiple psychological factors. Memory is the most important aspect to eyewitness identifications because it is the sole tool for remembering details of a specific event, but memory is very complex and has many different aspects that can cause for unreliable…show more content…
This complex process is part of long-term memory, which stores information to be retrieved at a later time. The brain first encodes and the information gets into memory, then it goes into storage, where the information is retained, and finally it is retrieved when necessary, and the information is recovered from memory. In eye witness cases, the certainty of the identification relies on the individuals long-term memory because of their implicit and explicit memory. In implicit memory, the brain stores information that you don’t consciously recall, and in explicit memory, the brain stores information that you consciously recall. In the majority of criminal cases, the eyewitness is asked to provide information about what occurred at the crime they saw, and this information is stored in conscious recall, explicit memory. The major problem with recalling from explicit memory is that humans don’t remember every exactly, they remember a general idea of the scene they are reporting. When recalling information, the eye witness can mistake color, shapes, objects, people, and many other aspects. A national litigation and public policy organization called The Innocent Project, works to exonerate innocent convicts who were unjustly convicted due to lack of DNA evidence testing and eyewitness misidentification. They claim that the majority of wrongly convicted people is due to eyewitness
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