Essay On Eyewitness Identification

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False eyewitness identification has proven to have a high degree of inaccuracy, yet still remains to be one of the most convincing pieces of evidence presented to a jury during a trial. Eyewitness accounts of certain events have been used to convict individuals that were later exonerated after serving years in a correctional facility for crimes they did not commit. Through the use of photographs and lineups during a criminal investigation, police officers and other interested parties are able to gain a better understanding of who may have convicted a crime, however the psychology behind false identifications has a number of different variables including environmental conditions and stress levels during the crime and potential bias or suggestibility …show more content…
This social influence is prevalent when the administer of the lineup may ultimately make the witness evaluate their confidence in their decision (Bradfield 2002). According to a study in Eyewitness Identification in Actual Criminal Cases (Law and Human Behavior, 2001), there are differences in a witness that was not involved in the crime being committed and the actual victim in the crime. The victim is 46.5% more likely to identify the suspect during a lineup or showup than a bystander who witnessed the incident. This suggests that the actual victim is more psychologically or emotionally involved in the incident, therefore they potentially process the information more accurately and at a higher level (Behrman and Davey, 2001).
Another factor that affects the identification of a suspect is own-race recognition bias. Research suggests that an African American witness will positively identify an African American suspect more than a white suspect. Similarly, a white witness will positively identify a white suspect more than a positive identification of an African American suspect. A suggested hypothesis as to the reason for this bias is that it can be more beneficial to differentiate within your race than within another race other than your own (Sporer et. al,

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