Importance Of Eyewitness Testimony

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The criminal justice system heavily relies on eyewitness identification, because eyewitness testimony has helped to solve many cases, hence, people believe the accuracy of eyewitness identification especially in the absence of other physical evidence. However, eyewitness testimony is not always reliable, factors like the recall time, the way that police shows the line-up, weapon focus, age, distance and so on can affect human memory which means it can lead to wrongful testimony and innocent people have put into jail because of the wrongful identification, these people have convicted the crimes which they have not done, and they also suffer their lives in prison and some of them even lost their families. Therefore, this essay will examine the…show more content…
However, human memories sometimes can be influenced by several factors and human eyes can lie to people. According to Howitt, the definition of eyewitness testimony is “the evidence provided to a court by a witness who saw the events in question” (pg.550). This means that the accuracy of the testimony is depends on witnesses’ memories. Human memories are unreliable sometimes, as there are many factors can influence the memories, recall time is one of the factors which can lead to misinformation. According to Rose and Beck (2016) that as the time of memory recall increased, the percentage of accuracy decreased. (pg.255). This explains that recall time is the factor which can affect human memories, if witness does not recall the event as soon as possible, the less accurate information may be provided and lead to misinformation. Krug and Weaver (2005) have the same finding as they indicate that the longer time of recollecting memories, the poorer performance of the witness. (pg,441). This explains that recall time has highly influence on eyewitness testimony accuracy. These two…show more content…
Which means that eyewitness testimony can influence judges and jurors’ decision making, they sometimes cannot identify the credibility and accuracy of the eyewitness testimony and may led to misinformation, hence, put innocent people in prison. According to Pozzulo, Lemieus, Wells and Mccuaig (2006) that jurors’ verdicts can be influenced by witness’s age and the interact with juror’s beliefs, jurors may think children are more honest than adults, thus providing the most reliable testimony. (pg.643). This shows that jurors are more likely to trust children’s testimony, but as the essay mentioned above, children are lacking of language abilities and they have different ways of viewing events compare to adults. Therefore, children’s testimony is not always reliable. Also, Pozzulo, Lemieus, Wells and Mccuaig (2006) have indicated that when witness provides positive identification, jurors are most likely to give guilty verdicts compare with non-identification and foil identification. (pg.650). This explains that jurors’ verdicts are depending on witness’s confidence of identifying the suspects. Moreover, Sigler and Couch (2002) suggest when there is discredited eyewitness testimony, jurors feel that they have been tricked by the prosecution, hence, the jurors will vote more in favour. (pg.146). This explains that if the eyewitness testimony
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