• The Use of Eyewitness Testimony as Evidence in Criminal Cases

      Shah, Pushti (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2021-12)
      Eyewitness testimony in court is shown to highly sway the opinion of jurors. Jurors trust a confident eyewitness and believe they are telling the truth and that their testimony is accurate [1]. Therefore, it is important that the individuals allowed to testify are accurate in their recollections. The enhanced ability to extract and examine DNA and the widespread usage of DNA as evidence in recent years has exonerated innocent individuals convicted of crimes that occurred before forensic DNA evidence was well understood. Out of those exonerated by DNA evidence, 75% were sentenced based on faulty eyewitness testimony [2]. Stress conditions significantly impact how memories are stored and how well they can later be recalled [3]. Therefore, the investigator questioning style must take stress levels and type of event witnessed into consideration. This has the potential to inform eye witness interviewing techniques and thereby improve the reliability of testimony, ultimately reducing the number of wrongful convictions.