False Eye Witness Testimony Essay

1548 words - 7 pages

In the courtroom, a witness’s or victim’s account of an alleged event can sometimes be fundamental to determining an accused’s guilt, rendering his or her liberty, livelihood and reputation at stake. The law requires witnesses to give truthful evidence and encourages them to admit when they do not know or cannot remember the details of the event (Evidence Act of 2008). Witnesses rely on their memories to testify as to what they believe is a true account of the event. However, memories have been found to be fallible with no guarantee of corresponding with objective reality (Johnson, 2001). Research has found that false memories (FM), where a person recalls an event that did not occur and ...view middle of the document...

The verbatim trace acts like short-term memory, which is susceptible to interference and decay and stores visual, spatial and auditory information for short periods of time. The gist trace acts like long- term memory where the overall meaning of the information is stored and episodic detail such as what was took place when the knowledge was acquired and the source of that knowledge fades over time (Neisser & Harshc, 1992; Petrican et al., 2010; Schmolck, Buffalo & Squire, 2000). In the context of ET, eyewitnesses who are interviewed immediately after an event still have the verbatim trace available in memory and ought to provide a veridical recollection of the event (Leding, 2012). However, the reality is that eyewitnesses are interviewed hours, days or even weeks after the event thus relying on gist trace and long-term episodic memory (Leding, 2012). Long-term episodic memories, being reconstructive in nature, results in an eyewitness reconstructing the event using original information, prior semantic knowledge and schema-consistent information derived from schemas during encoding (Leding, 2012; Straube, 2012). This results in a distorted ‘remembering’ of an event that might be, but is not necessarily a true representation of what occurred (Leding, 2012).
Eyewitnesses also use post event information when reconstructing their memories (Leding, 2012; Johnson, 2001; Straube, 2012). This is because episodic detail such as the source of information fades over time leaving behind the information itself. This leads to source monitoring errors where people confuse original information of the event information from external sources (Johnson, 2001). Therefore, false memories occur because of the confusion between internal and external sources of information or between various external sources of information (Johnson, 2001). So an eyewitness can testify to the truth of a piece of information when in reality, that information could have been provided to eyewitness from an external source such as another witness or the media (Leding, 2012). Furthermore, misleading questioning can also contaminate or distort an eyewitness’s memory so as to create false memories (Loftus, 2003; Loftus et al., 1978). This is known as the misinformation effect where the newly acquired misinformation retroactively interferes with previously acquired information (Loftus, 2003; Loftus & Hoffman, 1989). The misinformation is stored and processed via memory updating processes that occur during the consolidation stage of memory processing thus changing old memories by transforming or replacing them (Straube, 2012). The memories subsequently retrieved could be false memories as it could include the retrieval of false suggestions, or blends of original and misleading information (Loftus & Hoffman, 1989). Misleading questions can also sway a person from reporting not knowing an answer to questions to reporting false information about a past event (Scoboria, Mazzoni, Kirsch & Milling,...

Other Essays Like False Eye Witness Testimony

Black Ice Essay

1331 words - 6 pages allotted. there was ample evidence of Dallin Oaks’ personal focus on gospel principles. He emphasized the close connection between spirituality and learning, with spirituality necessarily predominant. Testimony of Elder Oaks A testimony of the gospel is a personal witness borne to our souls by the Holy Ghost that certain facts of eternal significance are true and that we know them to be true. Such facts include the nature of the Godhead and our

Critically Evaluate Two of the Main Factors Affecting the Accuracy and Reliability of Children’s Testimony in Cases of Suspected Sexual Abuse

1443 words - 6 pages In the 1980s, society gained an increased awareness of the pervasiveness of child sexual abuse. This, along with increases in allegations of abuse, led to important changes in the legal system, regarding the acceptability of child witness testimonies (Ceci & Bruck, 1995). The requirement for verification of children's testimonies alleging sexual abuse was abandoned and the testimony of young children was often accepted in the justice system as

Dont Use This

2067 words - 9 pages | |40 |Tabernacle set up; glory | God gives the commandments: do not have or make false gods; do not take up the name of God in vain; remember the sabbath and keep it holy; honor your parents; do not murder, commit adultery, or steal; do not bear false witness; and do not lust after anything belonging to your

Communication

1190 words - 5 pages Evidence gathering form |Evidence no |      | |Evidence date |      | Identify evidence type Direct observation Reflective account Questions Expert witness Product Witness testimony |Candidate name |      JULIE MOYES

Procedures of Criminal Trial (American)

2704 words - 11 pages .” When the attorney is finished, the opposing attorney steps forth to interrogate the same witness. This is called “cross-examination.” Usually, cross- examination may only contest material covered during the direct examination. The witness will have gone over the questions and answers for both examinations with both attorneys beforehand. Some witnesses give untrue testimony to protect the defendant. If demonstrated to be false during

Pros/Cons on Under Cover Police

1574 words - 7 pages On July 19, an undercover police officer took the stand in a New York courtroom to testify against an alleged drug dealer named Fabian Joseph. Consistent with longstanding practice in New York City, the officer refused to identify himself by anything but his badge number. Inconsistent with longstanding practice in New York City, trial judge Dorothy Cropper barred the officer's testimony. Judge Cropper ruled that because the undercover officer

The Importance of Sociology in a Society

2559 words - 11 pages can't sing like my wife...she reveals Gods glory through song...the beauty of music. She is unique in that way. * I try to reveal God's glory through the spoken word. There are many ways that each one of us can show God's glory to this world. * Love for one another. * Compassion. * Humility. * Servant hood. Another way that we can all show God's glory is by our testimony! Our witness! * Your personality is unique

Personal Statement

581 words - 3 pages progressed my interest in them has grown stronger. I have been particularly enthused by the work of Loftus into eye witness testimony, different explanations of mental disorders, the physiological response of the body to stressors, and Freud’s work on repression. The groundbreaking explanations of obedience and conformity put forward by Milgram and Zimbardo were also fascinating, although I have thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to all aspects

Contract analysis

1068 words - 5 pages the grounds for cancellation of the contract exists (Kubasek). As a biblical standpoint this situation shows sign of betrayal, decievement and trust. “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies” Proverbs 14:5. Since Marshall is not familiar with faith and it is new to him this situation must be handled carefully. The company must stay true to their Christian values and in a sense take the high road

Wrongfully Convictions

2736 words - 11 pages convictions, but there are a few common causes that the Michigan Innocence Clinic have found: eyewitness misidentification, junk science, false confessions, government misconduct, snitches, and bad lawyering. Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing. While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge

Acct 567 Devry Week One Homework

2986 words - 12 pages : | Chapter 9, page 9-3. Evidence other than oral testimony is sometimes referred to as real evidence. This term represents mere terminology and does not express a preference for or superiority of tangible over oral evidence. | | |   | Points Received: | 0 of 4 |   | Comments: | | | | Question 28. | Question : | (TCO C) Which statement is false? | |   | Student Answer: | | A motion in limine may be used to exclude the testimony

Related Papers

Creating Dreamjob Essay

1297 words - 6 pages Johnny J. Stewart Jr. Strayer University SCI 110 Professor Nina Walker July 21, 2014 ABSTRACT There are many different reasons why the reliability of eyewitness testimony in the United States judicial system today is all but flawed. There is only one way a witness can identify a suspect who has committed a crime, and it is called face to face recognition. Just getting a glimpse, bad weather, and bad lighting can hinder what a person can

Conviction Of Wrong Man Essay

553 words - 3 pages Expert Witness Helped Convict Wrong Man A panel of six independent forensic scientists stated, in a report filed in a Houston State court, that crime laboratory supervisor James Bolding helped convict an innocent man of rape in 1987. Because Bolding either lacked basic knowledge of blood typing or gave false testimony, George Rodriguez spent 17 years in prison for a rape that he did not commit. Bolding’s testimony in the case was challenged

Adversary And Civil System Essay

747 words - 3 pages of appeals reversed the conviction. On review, the court held that (1) a lawyer may not offer testimony of a witness which he knows is false, fraudulent, or perjured; (2) the defendant's continued representation by the attorney did not deprived the defendant of the right to effective assistance of counsel in that a refusal to call a particular witness because of an obedience to ethical standards, which prohibit the presentation of fabricated

Can The Human Memory Be Trusted?

776 words - 4 pages Can The Human Memory Be Trusted? Many factors can influence eye witness testimony (EWT), EWT is a term used in the legal system when witnesses recall information concerning individuals who have committed crimes. The factors that could affect the accuracy of EWT may include leading questions, age and anxiety. So can the human memory really be trusted with so many effecting factors? Loftus and Palmer (1974) conducted a study with the aim of