Eyewitness In Court Cases

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EYEWITNESS RECALL OF A CHILD2Did you see that? Eyewitness Recall through a Child’s EyesThe dependability and accuracy of a child’s eyewitness recall of events has been the focus of much speculation. Today the courts and attorneys are still arguing over the validity of these eyewitness accounts. Many criminal cases are built on the testimony of an eyewitness to prove guilt or innocence. Psychological writers have argued that “children are the most dangerous of all witnesses” (Brigham, Van Verst and Bothwell, 1986, p. 296). The dependability of a witness’s recall of events should be of great importance to everyone;a person will never know when guilt or innocence may be dependant on how well a child can recall an event they have witnessed.A field…show more content…
al., 1986).Brighamet. al. (1986) at the end of the experiment then compiled and correlated the data they had collected from the experiment. Of all the data collected during the experiment,they compiled information on “10 accuracy variables: identification accuracy, estimates of the thief’s height, weight, age, hair color, dress, what the thief said, what he had in his hand, what he was doing and estimates about the length of time the incident took” (Brighamet. al., 1986, p. 300). The answers to these questions were then coded into correct, incorrect, inches, pounds, years, and seconds with the question of what the thief was wearing given four points. One point for each correct item of clothing remembered (Brighamet. al., 1986).The overall findings of the experiment showed that of the 120 participants, 83% picked the thief from the photo line-up (Brighamet. al., 1986). The thief’s actual age was 21andthe children underestimated his age at anaverage of almost 19. His actual height was 67 inches; the children’s average answer was 67.12 inches. His actual weight was 135 pounds; the children’s average answer was 135.4 pounds. Sixty-one percent of the children remembered the thief’s hair color, and the children remembered two of the four pieces of clothing the thief was wearing at the time of the event (Brighamet. al., 1986). When the findings were broken down into age groups (4th, 8thand 11thgrade groups), The final data showedthat the 4thgraders did more poorly than the 8thand 11thgraders, and 8thgraders did more poorly than the 11thgraders did on picking the thief from the photo line-up, and on several ofthe recall questions (Brighamet. al.,
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