What happens during the reconstruction of the memory may significantly affect its accuracy. False eyewitness memory is the main factor leading to false convictions. The Innocence Project claims that eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful conviction in the USA, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions that were subsequently overturned through DNA testing. One explanation for the inaccuracy of EWT is that questioning by the police or other officials after a crime may alter witnesses’ perception of the events and thus affect what they subsequently recall. For example some questions may be more ‘suggestive’ than others.
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.
Eyewitness testimony can leave a deep and lasting impression on the jury, perjury is a harshly frowned upon crime as lying whilst under oath is practically a mockery of the integrity and legitimacy of the court system. However perjury is defined as the act of knowingly making a false statement while under oath – determining the truth is made difficult enough without the added possibility that the witness may not actually be aware of inaccuracies in their testimony. Eye witness testimony is evidence of what a witness believes to have occurred and although eye witness testimonies aid in making a conviction creditable they are often backed up by a lot of supporting evidence as an eye witness testimony can be harmful to a conviction as memories change. The growing length of time, the emotion experienced before and after the event and the pace of which the event happened can alter the memories drastically, there is also the chance that memories can be altered by third parties, enhanced features and false claims; the list above are just some reason for why our court system doesn’t base conviction on eye witness claims and try to find as much supporting evidence as possible to from a creditable conviction. One of the first identifiable flaws in the case of James Taylor is that his conviction was based on eye witness testimonies that throughout the case had been inconsistent and altered after the witnesses were shown a photo of James Taylor several months after the crime had occurred and given information about his past however the witnesses remained unsure and were left with the possibility that it could’ve been him.
This is shown in an article written by Justice Kevin Duggan in the Sydney Morning Herald (July 25, 2011) where he states that “criminal cases are becoming too complicated for juries”. Further to this, not only do juries struggle due to technology, but may also not understand key and extremely basic legal terms such as “beyond reasonable doubt” according to a report by BOCSAR in 2011. However, as the Jury Amendment (Verdicts) Act 2006 brought in laws accepting majority verdicts (11-1), it does question the notion of “beyond reasonable doubt”. In addition, the use of expert witnesses can also create difficulties for jurors when assessing evidence as it may be overpowering which may cause some jurors to not consider future evidence, as seen in the Gordon Wood case regarding Professor Cross, who was an expert witness on physics for the
The physical violence we can see in the novel is when the prison guards horrifically torture and beat the prison inmates. In several stories within Persepolis, the prison guards would torture and rape prison inmates because they were trying to get a confession out of the inmates. Although Marji did not first handedly see these horrible tortures, they were still widely talked about and feared all over Iran. The Iranians were also psychologically tortured as well as physically tortured. Several Iranians became psychologically tortured by the Iranian government.
Eye Witness Testimony Criminal Evidence Professor Jonathan Cristall 10 May 2012 Eyewitness Testimony Eyewitness testimony is given a considerable amount of weight in criminal cases by the jury. However, eyewitness testimony is really unreliable. It is easily confused and suggestive. Neil v. Biggers is the case where new rules were set forth for eyewitness identification. This case set forth more guidelines in the reliability of eyewitness testimony.
These concerns directly impact human rights, the law and everyday life for those affected particularly the young and ethnic minority groups since these are the groups disproportionately represented moreover allegations still exist that despite the Steven Lawrence case of 1993, institutional racism still exists. With stop and search the police deliberately force allegations upon and use the law indiscriminately where certain suspects are accused and the criticisms constantly and inherently labelled at the police are fully justified. What’s more the subsequent police conduct once searched is believed to be unpleasant and discriminatory; additionally the manner of searches can be humiliating and embarrassing for those involved. Overall stop and search is an ineffective method of investigating and disrupting crime for numerous and long standing reasons. One, is that the rate of arrests is extremely poor in co-ordination to the ratio of stops; the stop/search to arrest rate declined from 17per cent in 1986 to just 10 per cent between 1996 to 98, (McConville & Wilson, 2002, pg559).
These hoaxes amplify society’s image of the criminalblackman. These white-on-black racial hoaxes are often times believed immediately because society finds it highly likely that a black person did indeed commit the crime. Often times the perpetrators of these racial hoaxes are only charged with filing a false police report, if any charges are brought at all. In the event the perpetrator is charged with the crime they are trying to cover up, it is less likely that any additional charges will be filed for the hoax since they are already being charged with the more serious crime. Typically there is not amends of any kind made to the person or the community that has been affected by the hoax; not even a simple apology.
The police used severe beating and torture for years to obtain a confession out of a suspect and this type of activity was known as the “third degree” but now that times have changed mainly because of the Miranda warning, what is used most is deception. The police used the “third degree” type of coercion to get a suspect to admit to a crime and at times this included innocent suspects. This type of coercion would range from depriving a suspect of food, water, restroom breaks, physical abuse, to violating some of their other civil liberties. Here are some small details about Skolnick and Leo
Why are prisons bursting at the seams? According to Joe Romaine of the International Business Times, it is because of America’s “insane drug laws,” which are doing more harm than good (Romaine). Many people may argue that drug offenders are getting what’s coming to them— they broke the law, and therefore it is part of their consequence to suffer through the overcrowded “cruel and unusual” incarceration. Individuals who argue this point are mistaken because although criminals should indeed receive punishment for their actions, there comes a time when a line of propriety is crossed. The ‘war on drugs’ has become a harsh and unnecessary measure that frankly costs American taxpayers far too much money.