The Importance Of Eyewitness Testimony

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"I heard the discharge of a pistol behind me," stated Major Henry Rathbone, the man sitting in the theater box with the Lincolns on the night of the President 's assassination. This is just one of many important eyewitness testimonies. Although this testimony was incredibly important, it is evident that there are details of that night that Rathbone did not remember clearly. The testimony, though important, could have provided false information to the judge and jury. Though eyewitness testimonies have been used for as long as can be remembered, research has shown that the memory of eyewitnesses can become greatly distorted which can lead to false accusations. 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.…show more content…
On the other hand, a testimony from an eyewitness is a very important part of a trial. An eyewitness provides another side of the story. Having an eyewitness testimony allows the jury to better assess the situation; it can provide clarity between the stories from the defendant and the plaintiff. While it might be true that and eyewitness testimony is a key part of a trial, a distorted memory could lead to an innocent person being placed in
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