WATCH: Eyewitness Identifications Lead to Wrongful Convictions
Convicting a defendant based on eyewitness testimony was often a sure thing for prosecutors, resulting in horrifying consequences for the wrongfully accused. Now recent evidence has shown eyewitness accounts to be extremely untrustworthy.
|Mobile users click here to view the video.|
Lawyers.com Supervising Producer John McCarthy interviews Karen Newirth, Staff Attorney for the Innocence Project and an expert in eyewitness identification. She reveals that eyewitness testimony has been discovered to be highly unreliable; nearly 75 percent of the approximately 300 exonerations achieved by the Innocence Project involved eyewitness accounts of the crime.
The accuracy of human memory can be by a number of factors, Newirth explains. Things like the stress associated with witnessing or being the victim of a crime and how quickly the incident occured can impact the accuracy of an eyewitness’ memory.
Newirth stresses the importance of choosing the right criminal lawyer for your case. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime based on eyewitness testimony, it’s imperative that you are represented by an attorney who is familiar with the science surrounding eyewitness identifications and who knows how to use this information to protect your rights.