Eye Witness Testimony(Applying Knowledge to a Case Study)

1006 Words5 Pages
A Case of Wrongful Conviction On looking at the evidence provided for the conviction of 32 year old James Taylor, there are apparent inconsistencies with the evidence provided by the key eye witnesses. This was found after thorough research was done and each witness’s testimonies were evaluated. In accordance to the report provided by police the witnesses changed their stories on each meeting with an interviewer. Psychological research has proven that anxiety plays a major role in effecting an Eye Witness Testimony (EWT). Looking at the case there would have been a high level of anxiety amongst the witnesses when they were interviewed on site as they would have been in shock at what had happened, thus the inconsistencies with their statements.The Yerkes-Dodson law provides evidence to support my statement. It showed, that when there were low or very high levels of anxiety memory recall was low, and when a moderate amount of anxiety was evident the memory recall was the best. This proves that the high level of anxiety in the witnesses in their first statement may have corrupted the overall result of the case. Further studies by Elizabeth Loftus also support the fact that anxiety plays a major role in a EWT. She staged an experiment in which participants (Ps) were put in two different situations. One group was sat outside a room where two men had a calm discussion and one walked out with a pen in his hand. The other group on the other hand were, like the first sat outside a room, but instead of having a calm discussion the two men had an argument and participants could hear the sounds of banging and things being smashed, when the men left the room this time, one walked out with a knife covered in blood. When Ps were asked to describe each man, more were able to recall the man who held the pen rather than the man who had held the bloodied knife, this proves that
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