Gauci's Negative Influence On Eyewitness Testimony

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Collectively, the highlighted negative influences on eyewitness testimony can lead to false memories about the event and in turn, false convictions. The Lockerbie bombing case is just one of countless cases presenting significant cause for doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice (BBC News., 2002). Particularly in this case, eyewitness testimony was the predominant reason for incarceration. Gauci, (the eyewitness in this case), was exposed to multiple visuals of Al-Megrahi, (the suspect), before the line-up procedure. As mentioned earlier, post-event information can have a clear impact on the individual testifying; most specifically making that particular suspect more familiar to the witness. In the duration of time it took to take Al-Megrahi to trial, Gauci had changed his opinion on both the age and height of the …show more content…
This characterization of being in a threatening cognition might lead individuals to find a way to escape the situation. In this case, confession (Field,2013). Further research on human decision making has shown how susceptible people are to make reckless decisions, if they strongly believe it will greatly improve their wellbeing, relative to the given restraints (Nesterak, 2014). This cognitive dissonance, in this case confessing to a crime even though that individual did not commit it, can be explained by the belief of the instant outcome outweighing the delayed result, even if the latter is a poorer choice (Eysenck and Keane, 2005, p. 505). These factors make it easier for even the most rational individual to falsely confess. Case studies supporting this manifestation of social influence include, The Central Park Five (Burns, 2011), and various others documented in “The Confession Tapes”, an anthology series showcasing the horrifying reality of many cases, through real life incidence including footage (Rear,

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