Responsible Use of Eyewitness Testimony
Improper reliance on eyewitness testimony has led to eyewitness has led to 72% of 318 wrongful convictions in the United States.[i] While the innocent were behind bars, the real perpetrators were free and committed an additional 98 violent crimes (63 rapes, 17 murders, and 18 other violent crimes).
It is thus important for everyone (potential jurors) to be aware that eyewitness testimony is not always trustworthy due to many factors, and we must do our part to ensure that law enforcement officers are rigorous and follow strict protocol when instructing or questioning witnesses. As potential jurors, we must also beware not to let irrelevant information cloud our judgement.
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If you are based in U.S, go to http://www.innocenceproject.org/.
Let's stop punishing the wrong people!
[i] National Research
Council. Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification.
Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.