Brenton Butler Case Study

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Over the course of the years, many have been wrongfully convicted and accused of crimes they did not commit. The mission of the judicial system is to prove your guilt and if they can successfully do so beyond a reasonable doubt, then you will be convicted of that crime. Everyone walks into the court innocent until proven guilty, but unfortunately some proven guilty people are still very much innocent. In one case where this so happened to be true was during the case of Brenton Butler. Brenton Butler was accused of allegedly robbing and murdering an elderly woman at a nearby hotel in his hometown Jacksonville, Florida. Brenton Butler, casually walking outside in his neighborhood was stopped by two police officers and asked to go with them for …show more content…
In a study done by Steven D. Penrod and Brian L. Cutler, eyewitness identification was tested to find the most reliable effects on eyewitness performance. The studies that they performed indicated that jurors ' evaluations of identification evidence are heavily influenced by the confidence of the eyewitness. Unfortunately, in this case and in many other cases, the confidence of the eyewitness did not matter because he still identified the wrong man. The correlation between confidence and accurate eyewitness identification is weak (Penrod & Cutler, 1989). Because the victim’s husband was so confident in his identification, the cops did not feel obligated to find all of the evidence that they needed to prosecute Brenton. Their mission was not to find the guy that committed the heinous crime, because according to the victim, they had already found him. The cops spent more time trying to get Butler to confess than they did trying to find evidence to prove that he did …show more content…
Their sole piece of evidence was the identification given by the victim’s husband and a coerced confession that police wrote out themselves and beat Brenton into signing. With the research provided it is evident that eyewitness testimonies can be affected by many factors and it is not sufficient enough evidence to stand on its own. The police asked the victim to identify Brenton 2 hours after his wife had been shot which is hardly enough time for his shock of the situation to die down. Also, when they presented him Mr. Butler, they did not do so in the form of a lineup they presented him by himself in the area that the crime happened. The setting he was presented in, the time he was allowed to view Mr. Butler, the distance he viewed him and the traumatic state he was in, all led to his wrongful identification of Brenton Butler. The prosecution had no case really and the majority of the case was spent defending Brenton Butler. The only thing they had was a faulty eyewitness identification because the victim claimed he did not see a logo and Brenton Butler had a big Nautica logo on his shirt that could hardly be missed. The victim was clearly in distress. When the identity of the real murderer was revealed, the obvious differences between the Brenton and Curtis were unimaginable. They shared no real similarity in characteristics other than the color of their skin. However, because of that eyewitness testimony, all

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