The information that bystander accounts and gives in the court room during the case is referred as eyewitness testimony. The bystander gives a full description of what happen in a specific incident which might be under investigation. The court uses details that they have recollected as evidence to describe what happened in the point of view of witness. Since the past, human memories have been considered as credible source; however, currently human memory and perception have become unreliable since the memories are under attack of forensic psychology, which is a connection between justice systems and psychology (Vicki, Phoebe, & Saul, 1989). Memories are easily altered, biased and manipulated which leads many countries to make a great move and tries to change ancient testimony from eye witnesses.
Why eyewitness testimony may be great for court cases
Besides eyewitness testimony questioned by psychologist, Hugo Munsterberg, a forensic psychologist, he said that eyewitness is credible. The credibility of eyewitness is determined by how the memory can recall what happened. Eyewitness is used as a primary source where the judges and the prosecutors base their evidence on how confidence, truthfulness and reality the evidence looks. Eyewitness testimony can be improved by reinforcing law and application of legal professionals (Gary, Mark, Steven, Roy, Solomon, & C. A. E., 2001). Through psychology, eyewitness testimony have been worked on and improved to be more accurate and reliable. The witness must learn to account and provide open testimony of the situation.
How it may place innocent people in jail for crimes they didn't commit,
As a result punishing and convicting a person for a crime they did not commit or involved in, this causes justice miscarriage. This is caused by wrong eyewitness testimony. Through eyewitness testimony jury can have a deep impression. The juries have an exclusive role of solving the credibility issues; thereafter make judgments according to the truth of statements given by the witness. In judiciary, false swearing is a crime, since juries are always under oath they are allowed to undermine the integrity of a trial and the authority of the judicial system. The lying under oath may be referring to intentionally in making a false statement. Juries have a role in determining witness credibility and trueness in the evidence or secret, without revealing the final judgments’ reasons. The juries must be familiar with the weakness of memories which make them suitable in solving and participate in judicial process.
In addition, court, prosecutors, lawyers and police officers must be attentive on the third parties ability who introduces false memories to witness. As a result, bodies concerned deals with the witness by asking appropriate question regarding to their accuracy of their memories. Psychologists have known in help the society to solving such situations. The original memories are the right process of interpretation that takes place in the very configuration of the memories. Once the witness distort information or facts, due to restoration of their memory they tries to reconsider their first understanding. Even if juries ides on the eyewitness identification, they are all informed about the dangers of false memories.
Wrongly convictions subsequently result into arrest or conviction, thus jury concluding a particular crime to have occurred and particular individual to have caused the crime. If miscarriage of justice is brought as a result of convictions turn out, one side of statement is deemed to false. This may result in a jail term sentence due to false eyewitness, the particular innocent individual suffers. False witness result in antagonism and cause a ravage after the jail term of the convicted criminals.
How could we reduce the error in eyewitness testimonies?
The three scientific conditions to question on eyewitness are, visibility conditions: as a result the witness might have low night vision, affected by poor weather. The jury must consider the visibility health of the witness. Witnesses must be proven physically fit before giving out their witness. The juries must consider the procedure of identification is obtained which might be biased (Gary & Elizabeth, 2003). The witness confidence must be considered, because they must provide modest assurance whose identifications are correct.
How we can educate jurors and judges about properly evaluating eyewitness testimonies Juries are suggested to have undergo checklist and be educated on matter based on solving and giving out the right ruling, this help them to evaluate eyewitnesses (Gary, 1978). Through judge guidelines, there are new rules created to administer eyewitness testimony in the court. These rules are to guide the judges and require judges to explain fully to juries any influences that may cause increase in risk and error in the testimony.
How to minimize false lineup identifications
It is against the law to give false report in the court and to law enforcement. According to the law of various countries, an individual is guilty of crime if found giving a false report. As result the individuals concerned face the law, where they face harsh penalties including jail sentence (Gary, 1978). On the other hand the individuals might be requested to pay a court fine. However there is limitation in false information, not all false information is found to be guilty it might be a hint of information to be investigated.
Vicki L., Phoebe C., & Saul M., (1989) Eyewitness accuracy and confidence: within versus Between-Subject Correlations. The American Psychological Association, Inc. retrieved on 23rd April, 2013
Gary L. Wells, (1978). Applied Eyewitness-Testimony Research System Variables and Estimator Variables. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Retrieved on 23rd April, 2013
Gary L. & Elizabeth A., (2003). Eyewitness Testimony. Psychology Department. Retrieved on 23rd April, 2013,
Gary L. Wells, Mark Small, Steven Penrod, Roy S. Malpass, Solomon M. Fulero, and C. A. E. Brimacombe, (2001). Eyewitness Identification Procedures: Recommendations for Lineups and Photospreads. Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, Ames. Retrieved on 23rd April, 2013, http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~glwells/whitepaperpdf.pdf