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Eye-witness testimony - Essay Example

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Before, eyewitness identification was seen as very good source of evidence, but today, it has been found out to be unreliable. There are problems with eyewitness…
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Eye-witness testimony

According to these researchers, other types of circumstantial evidence, such as fingerprints or DNA, are more reliable in identifying criminals. This essay argues that eyewitness identification is not only can get the murder, but also it has unreliable.
The heart of the American criminal justice system is the honesty and reliability of eyewitnesses. The testimony of eyewitnesses can very much influence the decision of the judge or the members of jury. The jury tries to identify the reliability or honesty of the eyewitness secretly, without telling the basis of its final decision. Considering the weakness of the human memory, therefore, is very crucial to the criminal and legal justice system, because a lot of trials are focused on honest identifications (Wise et al. 2). Reaching a fair decision and a right identification is hard without the chance that eyewitnesses may not know wrongness in their identification or testimony.
Without strong physical evidence, testimony of eyewitnesses is important every time prosecution tries to prove that the criminal and the defendant are the same. The correctness of an eyewitness testimony or identification is shaped by two types of variables, which are ‘estimator’ and ‘system’ (Cutler & Kovera 54). System variables are things that the criminal justice system can control, like directions taught to eyewitnesses before they go into a lineup. Estimator variables, on the other hand, are things that the criminal justice system cannot control and their effects can be studied. These variables could be the lightning in the place where the crime took place, how long the eyewitnesses saw the face of the criminal, and so on (Cutler & Kovera 54).
But, still, eyewitnesses cannot be sure that their memory is right. Researchers say that weaknesses of the human memory negatively affect the truth of eyewitness testimony. Human memory is very hard to understand and study. Eyewitnesses can have a ... Read More
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