Importance Of Eyewitness Testimony
According to West’s Encyclopedia of American Law (2008), this refers to using a standard in law whereby a hypothetical person in society is cited due to his/her average care, skill, and judgment. Whether the accused individual is guilty of a specific offense can be determined by comparing this person’s actions to the reasonable person standard. As Byrd (2005) explains, under this standard, wrongful actions can become justified because they are not wrongful if provoked. The defendant only lost his/her temper or self-control, just as any reasonable person would (Byrd, 2005). In the State v. Henderson case (2011), the jury may have been asked to consider this standard for both Clark and Hendersen, although the jury’s attention was more focused on the eyewitness testimony of Womble.
In conclusion, both an eyewitness and the reasonable person provide standards in the court of law that are used in determining whether to convict a suspect, as demonstrated by the eyewitness in the State v. Hendersen (2011) case. Unfortunately, both standards are based upon subjective perception. For example, human error in memory processing may decrease the accuracy in an eyewitness testimony. Research should be done on individual interpretation as it relates to an eyewitness or the reasonable person in order to prevent any wrongful