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.
A jury trial is a privilege that we all have so that we are administered a fair and impartial trial; thus, it must be taken seriously. Depending on each state, when summoned for the jury selection process, and chosen to serve as members of the jury, we are required to take an oath or an affirmation. Additionally, the consideration of the circumstances that lead us to be a witness, should be prevalent in our minds. It is important that we listen to the entire case and determine if the offender, based on the facts given during the trial and not on personal biases, should be convicted. I think this is important because the future of one person is determined based on the testimony of the witnesses whom have sworn truthfulness. Nonetheless, I
Over the past few decades, hundreds of people have been falsely imprisoned. Many of their cases were founded on the account of one or more eyewitnesses. The criminal justice system often relies on eyewitness accounts to piece together a crime and identify the perpetrator. But studies showing the faultiness of our memories, particularly in stressful events, suggest that witnesses may not be as reliable of a source as we think.
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 60 Minutes put out an interview piece about Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton and attempted to show how eyewitness testimony is flawed. Thompson was the victim and survivor of a rape and Cotton was the accused. Cotton served nearly 11 years before his exoneration, the eyewitness conviction deemed flawed. However, not flawed eyewitness testimony only convicted Cotton but the power of suggestion, finger pointing, and some unconscientious persuasion as well.
A case where eyewitnesses was very important and helped the criminal prosecution was the trial against Charles Manson. To make the story short, Charles Manson was a man who got other people to murder for him. Charles Manson was a leader of a group called the Manson family, and the group contained young men and women who where lost in life and looked up to Mr. Manson as their leader and like a God. Charles Manson had pointed out several members of his family to brutally murder Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Jason Sebring, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca. The police officers working the Charles Manson case had evidence such as fingerprints and similar on the family members of the Manson family, but not much evidence proving
Why have more than two-thousand people exonerated for crimes they didn’t commit? Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the U.S. Memory can be influenced by anxiety, stress, reconstructive memory and other factors possibly affecting the testimony of the eyewitness and in turn, misleading the jury. I think that when subjects witness a crime they will struggle to remember important details of the event, and their recollection could be easily altered. This is because the reconstructive memory can be influenced by factors such as stress, anxiety, and verbal cues.
When one is victim of or witness to a crime, it is expected that said person is brought into the police department to be questioned by the police. During this line of questioning it is possible that the victim or witness take part in suspect identification procedures. Such procedures include the use of lineups, showups, photo arrays and others. These procedures are referred to as system variables. These system variables are factors under the control of the investigators that have a demonstrated effect on the accuracy and reliability of eyewitness testimony. Examples of system variables that can influence eyewitness testimony include but are not limited to: statements made to eyewitnesses prior to and after lineups, instructions given to witnesses
“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.
Eyewitness identification is ineffective and unjust. Studies have shown that 40% of eyewitness identifications are wrong (Vrij, 1998). Eyewitness identification has great importance in the legal system. This requires the best eyewitness testimony procedure. This essay examines the three main types of eyewitness line-ups; the showup, the sequential and the simultaneous line-up. This essay draws conclusions as to which method the legal system should implement.
Eyewitness accounts play a huge role in general in trials and verdicts, but may be unreliable many times, with certain views placed on evidence provided by children. Unreliability may arise from not being able to recount the identity of the accused, the actions and speech occurring during that time, the relationship of individuals towards the person in question, and many
Eyewitness misidentification is a major problem that has an effect on adequate policing. One major goal and priority of law enforcement is justice. They should focus on prosecuting the correct person because if they are prosecuting the wrong person they are ruining an innocent persons life and justice is not being served. Many problems can arise from misidentification. It often leads to an innocent persons rights being infringed on. There are many dangers to misidentification and many causes for misidentification occurring.
The Innocence Project lists six primary causes of wrongful convictions exonerated by DNA evidence. The causes are eyewitness misidentification, unvalidated or improper forensic science, false confessions or admissions, government misconduct, informants, and inadequate defense. The leading cause of wrongful convictions proven by DNA evidence is eyewitness misidentification. Eyewitness misidentification was a factor in more than 70% of convictions whose rulings were reversed due to DNA testing nationwide. Throughout history, the reliability of eyewitness identification has been questioned. In 1907, Hugo Mustenberg examined the reliability of eyewitness identification in his book, “On the Witness Stand”. In a study of 65 wrongful convictions completed
She “studied every detail on the rapist’s face. [She] looked at his hairline; [she] looked for scars, for tattoos, for anything that would help [her] identify him” (New York Times). She put so much effort to stay conscious and study this much detail of her attacker, yet when Bobby Poole stood in front of her in the courthouse, she did not recognize him claiming “that she’s never seen that man before in her life”. This shows that there are other contributing factors that could lead a witness to misidentify an attacker and that even the “best” eyewitnesses are not perfect. Thompson shared the statistic that eyewitness error is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in America. This supports her argument by claiming that she is not the only case of misidentification. Errors like this occur in trial and investigation considerably often. Thompson brings up another case in Texas where there is another man on death row because of a flimsy eyewitness identification. This goes to show that eyewitness misidentifications can have heavy consequences to the wrongfully convicted as well as how common misidentifications are. Overall, Thompson claims that even the most confident witnesses can be
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,
Furthermore, there can be several factors at play when a wrongful conviction occurs and each case is unique. Three of the more common and detrimental factors that will be explored in this essay are eyewitness error, the use of jailhouse informants and professional and institutional misconduct. Firstly, eyewitness testimony can be a major contributor to a conviction and is an important factor in wrongful conviction (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p. 227). Witness recall and, frankly, the human emory are not as reliable as previously thought. In fact there has been much research showing the problems with eyewitness testimony such as suggestive police interviewing, unconscious transference, and malleability of confidence (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p.227). All of these components lead to eyewitness error and essentially false incrimination. Secondly, another factor that can contribute to wrongful conviction is the use of jailhouse informants. Campbell & Denov (2016), describe jailhouse informants as prisoner informants that “provide information to law enforcement officials in exchange for money, property, or the promise of leniency in sentencing” (p. 229). This can be problematic because jurors place value on the