It is unlikely that social consequences of false memories can be avoided. Elizabeth Loftus was intrigued to study false memories, and is perhaps personally responsible for subsequent developments throughout the history of false memories. Some of this history addresses various theories aimed at isolating how or why false memories occur. These include Source Monitoring Framework, Activation Monitoring Theory, Fuzzy Trace Theory, and strategies for persuasion which can lead to the development of false memory. Such persuasion leads to the present discussion concerning how persuasion in the judicial system has created false confessions and wrongful eyewitness testimonies, due to the Misinformation Effect. Additionally, Recovered Memory Therapy psychotherapy, a method used to reclaim lost memories, reveals itself as problematic where false memories are concerned.
There comes a time in the criminal justice system where a law that was written to protect us will be challenged through a court case. That case will eventually make history and will become a reference in future cases with similar dilemmas. In 1983, one particular case met the criteria (Arizona vs. Youngblood). In this case, Larry Youngblood was convicted by a jury in Arizona of child molestation, sexual assault, and kidnapping of a ten-year-old boy. Both a criminologist for the State and an expert witness for the defendant testified as to what they believed the results were from the tests that were performed on the samples shortly after they were collected, they also commented on later tests performed on the samples from the boy’s clothing
Manufacturing Guilt Wrongful Convictions in Canada, Second Edition, is relevant to the course I am taking Social Inequity and Justice because, like my course this book discusses and examines sociological approaches to social inequity in regard to race and ethnicity and how it effects these groups and their lives. Manufacturing Guilt Wrongful Convictions in Canada, Second Edition is about innocent people that spend many years behind bars, wrongfully committed for crimes they did not commit. When someone is wrongfully convicted, they are being punished for an offence they did not commit and to make matters worse the actual perpetrator of the crime goes free. Many people that do get exonerated their applications take years in the federal review
Emma Bryce, a science and environmental journalist wrote an article for WIRED titled “False memories and false confessions: the psychology of imagined crimes”. She bases her article on the experience of a criminal psychologist, Julia Shaw and studies of a cognitive psychologist, Elizabeth Loftus. The article describes several cases where false memories resulted in getting innocent people in jail. Julia’s job is to study what triggers false memories we encounter every day and how the results of her studies can be applied to the criminal-justice system where it is very important to detect them. As she said, unfortunately, the police still makes a lot of mistakes that put innocent people in prison, so her job is to fix this by providing scientific
There have been numerous cases where false conviction has ruined someone’s life. This too, happened to Tammy Marquardt (Wynne), a middle-aged woman currently 43, who had lost all three of her sons during her early twenties due to the false charges of smothering and murder that imprisoned her. It changed her life completely. She would have never expected to go from being a regular single mom to being a criminal, but she did. This is her story.
With millions of criminal convictions a year, more than two million people may end up behind bars(Gross). According to Samuel Gross reporter for The Washington Post, writes that also “even one percent amounts to tens of thousands of tragic [wrongful conviction] errors”(Gross). Citizens who are wrongfully convicted are incarcerated for a crime he or she did not commit. Many police officers, prosecutors, and judges are responsible for the verdict that puts innocents into prison. To be able to get exonerated many wait over a decade just to get there case looked at, not many are able to have the opportunity of getting out. People plead guilty for crimes that are not committed by them to avoid trial, but by doing so the right decision wasn’t made.
“Of what use is the memory of facts, if not to serve as an example of good or of evil?” (Alfred de Vigny). Memory encodes various pieces of information that can be utilized in an enormous amount of situations to benefit people. However, memory is also fallible. It alters and creates new memories, changing the original encoded data for unknown reasons. This creates a major issue within a judicial system. It takes a few eye witness testimonies towards the prosecuted individual to incarcerate them, even if they did not commit the crime. It is because of this reason that Scott Fraser chooses to speak out against eye witness testimonies.
“On July 30, 1992, an innocent person was convicted of a heinous crime”. Guy Paul Morin, an ordinary man, was arrested, imprisoned and convicted of first degree murder. The victim was Christine Jessop, a nine-year-old girl from Ontario, Canada. She was found murdered in a field about fifty kilometres from where she lived. Due to the investigation team’s carelessness and tunnel vision, the systematic failure of the justice system, and the poor handling of evidence by the crown there was not only one, but two victims in this case.
The biggest issue within the Criminal Justice system is the large number of wrongful convictions, innocent people sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit. People are put in prison for years, even executed for false convictions. This affects not only those put in prison but friends and family of the accused. Wrongful convictions aren’t solely a tragedy for those directly involved either. It weakens the faith the public has for the justice system as well as poses safety issues; when innocent people are put away, the real criminals are still out there. Luckily, it is known what causes wrongful convictions and how to fix them.
There has been extensive research conducted on both estimator and system variables and how they specifically relate to the witnessing of a crime. Estimator variables represent sources of eyewitness error that are beyond the control of the criminal justice system. They typically happen during or following the crime before investigators are able to arrive on the scene. This represents the basic way humans perceive things and remember them and their overall influence can only be estimated. On the other hand, system variables are controlled by people within the criminal justice system when collecting information from eyewitnesses. In this case, errors are preventable. I will be discussing three estimator variables and three system variables and
To be committed of a crime the judge or jurors must have enough evidence that there is no other possible explanation, this is referred to as beyond a reasonable doubt. If this is held true, how can someone still be wrongfully convicted? According to Sphohn, Cassia (2014) in 2008 more than 1.6 million United States citizens was imprisoned (p. 5.35). If only .5% of those individuals were innocent that would mean that 8,000 people are wrongfully convicted. That also means there are 8,000 people who are guilty of those crimes free among society. However, there is no way to gather the exact percent of individuals that have been wrongfully convicted.
“Why is eyewitness testimony so powerful and convincing? Because people in general and jurors in particular believe that our memories stamp the facts of our experiences on a permanent, non-erasable tape, like a computer disk or videotape that is write-protected,” (p. 21). This passage is important because it shows how much emphasis jurors put on eyewitness testimonies. This passage is important for research purposes as it explains why jurors find this form of testimony so reliable. People do not want to believe that memories can be changed or manipulated so it is easy to sympathize with a defendant.
Within the criminal justice system, there are two competing models: the crime control model and the due process model. These two models were constructed by Robert Packer and each represents a particular school of thought. In managing crime, there is the individual i.e. the suspect and there is the society. The due process model is seen to focus on the suspect whereas the crime control model focuses on the society. This paper analyzes these two models and based on the rate of crime in the society, makes recommendations as to which is the best model in criminal justice.
Eye witness identification involves selecting an accused perpetrator from a police line up, sketch or being at the crime scene during the murder time. After selecting a suspect, witnesses are asked to make a formal statement confirming the ID of the suspect (s) or other surrounding details which the eyewitness can testify in court. Eyewitnesses are always required to testify in court but eyewitnesses with psychological disorders, substance dependancy are at a higher chance of identifying the wrong suspect therefore wrongfully assisting convict the perpetrator in the wrong (Hal Arkowitz, Scott O. Lilienfeld, January 1, 2010).
When faced between turning himself in or leaving the police station to be a free man, Raskolnikov chose to confess; the narrator said, “A ghastly, lost smile forced its way to his lips. He stood there and grinned. Then he turned back upstairs to the station” (Dostoyevsky 505). Instead of running away like he did during most of the novel, he listened to the innocent Sonia and his guilty conscience. As in the case of guilt in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, there are significant factors that leads to confessions in a crime investigation. In this study, the term confession will include not only confessions of crime by criminals, but false confessions by those who could be innocent. Extensive data in academic journals and notable literature