Kirk Bloodsworth Case Study

Amazing Essays
Kirk Bloodsworth’s case serves as a stark example of the potential for error within our judicial system. On July 25, 1984, nine-year old Dawn Hamilton’s body was found in the woods of Rosedale, Maryland after she had been brutally raped and murdered (guest lecture). Within one week, law enforcement found and arrested the primary suspect of Dawn Hamilton’s murder, twenty-three-year old Kirk Bloodsworth (guest lecture). Police seemed certain that they had the murderer in custody. The young man’s trial lasted two weeks, and the jury ultimately convicted the defendant, sentencing him to death (guest lecture). While it may seem like justice was served, a closer look shows many flaws that triggered the conviction of the wrong man. An understanding of psychological influences, including perception, memory, and the effects of authority figures, is necessary to sufficiently appreciate the missteps in The People v. Kirk Bloodsworth. Kirk Bloodsworth was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of nine-year old Dawn Hamilton, and an analysis of police behavior, eyewitness testimony, and even the inactions of his legal team provide clear warning signs for potential injustice. Law enforcement’s role in a criminal investigation is prone to human error. Understandably, police have a desire to …show more content…
The People. The police could have used better methods to ensure greater accuracy of eyewitness identifications. With an emotionally-driven case, the officers may have consciously or unconsciously guided the witness to select Kirk Bloodsworth as the perpetrator. More accurate identifications could have been achieved by eliminating feedback effects of officers, as eyewitnesses who receive confirming feedback from a lineup administrator may inaccurately increase their certainty in the initial identifications (textbook). By blinding the lineup

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