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.
‘Outline and evaluate research into eyewitness testimony.’ Eyewitness testimonies are often used as evidence and are an important part of the criminal process. Witnesses to crimes may be perceived to be honest and well intention-ed when giving evidence, however psychological research has shown that eyewitness testimonies may not be as truthful and helpful as it is widely perceived thus debating how valid eyewitness testimonies are. There are many factors that affect eyewitness testimonies, one of the main factors is the role of anxiety. One of the most widely known studies into anxiety affecting eyewitness testimony is Loftus’ study to find out if anxiety during a witnessed incident affects the accuracy of later identification. Within this study participants were exposed to two situations, one a low-key discussion in a laboratory about an equipment failure with a person then emerging from the laboratory holding a pen with grease on their hands.
Christianson and Hubinette interviewed 58 people from a real life bank robbery and found that those who had been threatened in some way could recall more than those who had just been bystanders. Therefore, this suggests that anxiety can increase EWT accuracy if they are at moderate levels. The people who had been threatened in some way must have had optimum levels of anxiety which increased their accuracy in EWT. Furthermore, the study is high in ecological validity because it was a real life case, therefore it has mundane realism. However, because it was a natural experiment, extraneous variables couldn’t be controlled and so it is possible that these may have affected the accuracy of recall instead of it being anxiety.
Outline and Evaluate research into the effects of age on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. (12marks) A study done by Christianson and Hubinette (1993) found that 58 witnesses who had been threatened during bank robberies has more detailed and accurate recall of events that those not threatened, even after 15 month. However this survey has an ecological validity as it is conducted in a real life sistutaion. This shows that people are likely to remember more if they are threatened because it will increase the anxiety. Also the study of Goodman and Reed (1986) they did a study on children ages between 3-6 years and they played Simon say’s and then 5 days later they were questioned about this event.
Describe and explain the research into the effects of anxiety on eye witness testimonies (12 marks) There has been a lot research into the effects of anxiety on eye witness testimony. One of these is a study conducted by Loftus (1979). In the study participant were asked to sit outside a laboratory where they thought they were hearing genuine exchanges between people in the laboratory. In one condition, they heard an amicable discussion about equipment failure. A man with greasy hands then came out of the laboratory holding a pen.
MU 10 Additional Questions Session 10 What is meant by Cognitive distortions? How would you describe the skills required for developing and sustaining the counselling relationship? Cognitive distortions are irrational thought patterns that are thought to be responsible for anxiety and depression. Beck did a lot of work on Cognitive distortions and found there to be several common ones such as Filtering this is when a person takes either just the negatives or positives from an experience and then bases all future experiences on these aspects. For example “ I always get stressed when I have to work to a deadline” this person would associate the deadline with failure and would therefore avoid working to a deadline however if they inspected what had led them to fail on a particular project they would certainly see that the deadline had little to nothing to do with the failure.
On administrative matters, forensic psychiatrists are asked to give testimony at legislative hearings—for instance, prior to the enactment of laws governing the sexual misconduct of professionals and the right of an individual to refuse treatment. As a treating psychiatrist, I see patients with a wellness rather than a litigation agenda. Patients come to us because they are suffering mentally. They are depressed or anxious; they have feelings of panic and unbidden thoughts and actions, as well as personality problems that interfere with their day-to-day functioning and quality of life. Although some of these patients may, from time to time, put their problems into action, in the main their personal difficulties are contained within themselves, manifested only as unpleasant, painful
These limitations are shown regularly in the areas of juries and victims’ rights. Our laws may not always be enforceable and at times, victim’s rights may be turned away to promote resource efficiency. Juries and the jury system are one of the most controversial and publicly highlighted issues within the criminal trial process. In the modern era where many pieces of evidence involve technology and forensics, some jurors may have difficulty understanding evidence due to the increasing technical nature of some cases. 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”.
Outline and evaluate the research into eyewitness testimony. There has been a vast amount of interest into eyewitness testimony (EWT). EWT investigate the accuracy of memory following a crime or incident worth interrogating and the types of errors make in such situations. Sometimes EWT can be unreliable, which can lead to horrific consequences in a court of law. Rattner (1988) reviewed 205 cases of wrongful arrest (such as the case of Edward Honaker) and found that in 52% of cases, this was due to mistaken EWT.
There are many examples of excessive force that will examine what’s being done to address the issue. In recent years, police actions, particularly police abuse, has been revealed to the public. While citizens are worried about the criminals around them, they are now also worried about the people who are supposed to be protecting them. A good example of this can be found in the article “End Police Brutality” by the Law Journal for Social Justice from an incident that happened in October 2010 stating that: Elvira was embroiled in a domestic dispute involving