Eyewitness testimonies have been used in all of American history. However, new research has shown that the memory of witness 's is faded and can begin to blend together. One study that was done had a group of people view videos of fender benders where no windows were broken. When the people were asked how fast the cars we going when they smashed into each other, instead of hit, people were more likely to report speeding and shattered glass (Laura Beil). In fact, a study carried out by Dr. James Ost at the University of Portsmouth, 40 percent of people claimed to have seen this nonexistent footage. Some even went on to describe what happened in vivid detail (Science Focus). This is clear evidence that memories are not accurate enough to properly determine the fate of someone 's future.
Post event information is information that has been provided to an individual after they have witnessed an event. Misleading (incorrect) post event information can dramatically alter a person’s recollection of events (Loftus, 1992), and is often referred to as the ‘misinformation effect’ (Loftus, 2005). Misinformation can cause serious errors in recollection, information can be given deliberately or, more commonly, accidentally. This may happen through police interviews or general enquiries after the witnessed event has taken place. A prime example of this can be found in Gabbert et al., (2003) study. Gabbert investigated the effect of post event discussion on the accuracy of eye witness testimony; where participants
Many criminal investigations rely on eyewitness accounts in order to identify a criminal. Some of these investigations require children to choose from a photograph who they believe the person they saw was. Children (ages 4-7) are less able to recall details of a situation, and are not yet able to descriptively describe events that happened to them. Adults however, are better at recalling than children (given optimal conditions). Misidentification does occur in adults, only having a glimpse of a suspect or only picking out a few details and choosing the person based on those can result in an innocent person being convicted. Memory is a difficult subject to study, and there are many factors that
Witnesses to crimes are sometimes asked to view a police lineup to see if they can identify the culprit. Using experimentally created events, psychological researchers have long warned that eyewitness identification evidence is less reliable than people seem to believe. Corroborating the concerns of psychologists, since the advent of forensic DNA testing in the 1990s, 258 people convicted by juries in the United States have been freed based on exculpatory DNA tests, and 200 of these were cases of mistaken eyewitness identification (Innocence Project, 2010). Examination of the reasons for these mistaken identifications has provided rich avenues of investigation guided by cognitive and social perspectives. Here we focus on (a) variables that Not surprisingly, witnesses are likely to assume that the culprit is in the lineup; when explicitly warned that the lineup may or may not contain the culprit, witnesses are less likely to make a selection (Brewer & Wells, 2006). Identification accuracy is impaired under encoding conditions likely to undermine memory strength, such as divided attention, short exposure duration, and long viewing distance (e.g., Lindsay, Semmler, Weber, Brewer, & Lindsay, 2008; Palmer, Brewer, McKinnon, & Weber, 2010). Some conditions, such as identifying a culprit of a different race or one who was wearing a disguise (e.g., Meissner & Brigham, 2001), undermine encoding and/or lineup discrimination performance. Other conditions such as lengthy retention intervals are associated with diminished memory strength (Deffenbacher, Bornstein, McGorty, & Penrod, 2008). Indicators of Identification Accuracy Because an identification decision is often the key evidence against a suspect, characteristics of identification decisions that might discriminate accurate from inaccurate decisions have been explored. Decision confidence (Brewer & Wells,
Stories with child narrators are usually written from the first person perspective and can be broadly categorized into two different types. The first is when the narrator is the age of the child and the reader discover things along the way, with them. The second is when the narrator is much older and is looking back on their childhood and recalling a story from that period of time. “They may make comments on the actions of their younger selves but other than that the illusion of child innocence and naïveté is preserved” (Kienlen). The Scout Finch who narrates To Kill a Mocking Bird is one such example. She is a child narrator, but she is also a mature adult. It is also entirely possible that the perspective is not in the first person only but in the third person too. There might even be a mixture of perspectives as seen in William Faulkner’s incredible short story, Barn Burning, which tells the story of a father’s struggles with class discrimination and his own shortcomings in dealing with them. Faulkner chooses the youngest child to be the primary narrator with the occasional omniscient third person. The narrative point of view shifts often and quite suddenly in Faulkner’s story and brings to life the dilemmas faced by the narrator’s family. In this case, the voice remains believable though there might be instances
Context consists of such factors as emotion and environment, and it is necessary to recreate those factors in order to access the memory that has been naturally primed to be recalled in reference to them (Cutler, Penrod, Martens, 629). Thus, when addressing these identification errors made by eyewitnesses and when trying to fix them it is essential that the officials involved in the criminal justice system who are questioning the witnesses “reinstate the context surrounding an event” (Cutler, Penrod, & Martens, 629). In other words, eyewitness identification errors need to be fixed, as well as discrepancies of reliability and accuracy within a jury and among the jury members. Furthermore, authors Kovera and Borgida discuss how social psychologists are not allowed in the courtrooms even though that would be very beneficial as they can share the knowledge of these phenomena that can often lead to injustices (1376). Perhaps the first step to more forcefully addressing and working on these influential estimator and system variables as well as jury biases will be to change that rule. But for now the most important part is that the realization of these social psychological concepts becomes widespread enough so that it becomes second natural to be aware of any biases or misjudgments occurring as a result of them. In other words, there are many issues and errors that occur within the legal system due to these social psychological aspects, and they thus must be more widely acknowledged, addressed, and fixed for they have the power to change a verdict and thus possibly ruin a life if a suspect is falsely convicted as a
Therefore positive identification in eyewitness testimonies could be a case of an incorrect integration of memory and not a fully accurate account of the events that occurred. As the witnesses are unaware of this transference this could lead them to be very confident in their recall and identification of the culprit, when in fact they are wrong. This has major implications in law and to the level of which eyewitness accounts can be
Eyewitness testimony is something which describes a person’s observations about any event or incident. Remembering something and recalling it later is possible because of memory. So, the ability of an organism to record information about things or events with the facility of recalling them later at will or when asked is memory. Eyewitness testimony in children is a part of their reconstructive memory according to “Elizabeth Loftus”. Reconstructive memory is the act of remembering and it is also influenced by various other factors and cognitive processes as well. While remembering the things or taking them into account for further usage children think that whatever they are seeing or observing will
Eyewitnesses in the judicial system have lots of roles. They are called upon to make identifications at two points in the legal process. First during the investigation of suspects, they may be called upon to help compose a facial composite using a “photo-kit,” examine mug shots, pick a suspect out of a photo-spread, or make an identification from a live lineup. Second thing is the eyewitness may be called upon during the prosecution of defendants to make an identification in a courtroom trial (Penrod, 149). Characteristics of the eyewitness may profoundly affect the performance (Penrod, 157). We cannot define everybody to have the same characteristics or personality. Everybody is unique in their own way, and due to that, we have to carefully rely on eyewitness testimonies and their reliability. Overall, we need the eyewitness to be truthful and not making the investigation much harder to determine the person who committed the
There are many types of trails that are presented in court during this era that usually consist of at least two eyewitnesses. However, it is very unreasonable to have eyewitnesses during a very serious trial concerning a life or death outcome. Owing to the fact that whatever the individual saw could in fact be modified to fit a certain individual's liking so that he/she could perhaps win the case. Let’s not forget that humans are not perfect and are very different individuals, what one may have witness could possibly not happened exactly as they thought, dependent on the angle they saw the event. Another important factor of viewing an event unfolding, is that whatever is happening could maybe traumatized that individual which also can alter the way he/she saw the event and what really happened.
The conclusions that were drawn from the study were that there was insufficient knowledge regarding the memory of eyewitnesses, which prevented an accurate account of the setting. The disagreement between the jurors, judges and law enforcement professionals demonstrates the necessary caution, which should be exercised when considering testimonies from eyewitnesses. Looking at this study it is evident that in less than half of all court cases the testimony of the witnesses was accurate enough to provide an account of events. This is obviously problematic in that it brings into question the validity of the justice system as a whole.
For their experiment, they tested out the idea that giving eyewitnesses confirming feedback would affect how accurate one is able to evaluate accurate or mistaken feedback based on the witness self-report questions and the evaluator’s testimony judgment questions, it was concluded that confirming feedback increased the perceived credibility of mistaken eyewitness more than increasing the perceived credibility of accurate eyewitnesses.
Even though I did not choose the same concept as you I do agree Suggestibility plays a role in eyewitness testimoney because an investigator could tell the eyewitness false statements to try to trick the eyewitness into an wrong answer. Also I believe eyewitness testimonials are not the most precise way of convicting criminals because Distinguishing proof mistakes happen,and these blunders can prompt people being dishonestly blamed and even
Eyewitnesses rely not only on their memory but also on their decision making abilities when deciding which information to report or when making lineup identifications. Hence, it is only logical that we consider chronotype in eyewitness testimony. Yet, to date there is only one study9 examining the effect of chronotype in the legal system. Though this study addresses the issue of the increased propensity of false confessions under conditions of chronotype asynchrony, the findings argue for further research between the fields of legal psychology and chronobiology.
In chapter 17 we discussed the three forms of witness identification, lineups, showups and photographic identification. I have been a police officer for a little over 10 and half years and have seen all three of these used on several cases. We have seen several police movies who would bring in a victim into the police station to help identify the offender by a lineup of five to six people of similar build and exterior features. Now when the victim attempts to identify the offender somehow the victim feels that this person can see them through the glass window that separates them from the offender. Now this does not happen in real life. The glass that stands between the offender and the witness is built to keep the victim from being seen. The lineup form of identification helps the victim see