Convicted By Eye Witness Alone???

Shannintipton - posted on 07/27/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I don't know the rules for debating and I suck at this but here goes. And I don't have a fancy smancy link to look up or refer to. I just have a question.

Do you think people should be convicted by eye witness alone????

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Emma - posted on 08/07/2011

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Hell know An eye witness's are in my mind a wast of time. Way back when i was taking a class in Criminal Psychology, our lecture asked us to write a description of the woman who just served us coffee on our break. In a class of 25 people i was the only one who gave an accurate description and i had to admit it was due the the fact i actually knew her.
The range of descriptions there all over the place long hair, short hair blond, brunet, tall, short ect ect now add the stress of being a victim or witnessing a crime and things like we find it very hard to differentiate faces of people not of our own race.
i don't think an eye witness statement is anywhere near conclusive enough to convict someone on its own.

Kellie - posted on 07/27/2011

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I'm not 100% sure Shannin, but I believe (and I'm no expert) that Eyewitness Testimony is given (especially if from the victim) weight, at least in our system.

Rosie - posted on 08/07/2011

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i think it needs to be given consideration if it's from the victim, but i am uncomfortable with it being the only thing that convicted him/her. it's very unreliable, and should not be the only thing that convicts.
i'm with you shannin i couldnt' make a composite drawing of anyone, hubby included, lol.

Kellie - posted on 07/27/2011

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It is and it isn't scary, If it was trial and conviction by Eyewitness Testimony alone? Yep scary, but using all resources available in a trial not so scary. Are there still miscarriages of justice? Absolutely, the system is run by Humans and subject to Human Error and therefore not perfect.

Kellie - posted on 07/27/2011

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Oh just a thought, but DNA evidence is really a recent introduction. It wasn't around and it wasn't until 1988 that it became admissible in court.

"In general, DNA evidence has been increasingly accepted by state and federal courts as admissible evidence. The first state appellate court decision to admit DNA evidence was in 1988 (Andrews v. Florida, 533 So. 2d 841 [Fla. Dist. Ct. App.]), and the first major federal court decision to admit it occurred in Jakobetz. By the mid-1990s, most states allowed DNA test results into evidence."

http://www.answers.com/topic/dna-evidenc...

So my thoughts would be that in the past Eyewitness Testimony was a huge part of the Trial/conviction process. But bare in mind those are just my thoughts.

Lol I probably rambled, but I LOVE the law!

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JuLeah - posted on 08/07/2011

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I'd not want to be that witness. And, I am sure that can never be the only evidence. Too much room for error.

Becky - posted on 07/27/2011

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No. An eyewitness can be wrong. I've heard a lot of stories where people in crowds were asked to describe a perpetrator and can't even come to a consensus on the color of his or her skin! Obviously, if it's a crime against you personally, like a mugging or rape, you will probably have a better recollection of their appearance, but still, stress can cause your memory to play tricks on you as well. If there is no other evidence whatsoever that a person committed a crime, aside from an eyewitness, then that should not be enough to convict a person. Unless the perpetrator had some remarkable physical feature (a really unique tatoo or birthmark, for example) that the victim could identify, maybe then I could see it being enough.

Shannintipton - posted on 07/27/2011

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So it did or does happen that people are convicted by eye witness alone. To me that is just so wrong. Thanks for your input. :)

Kellie - posted on 07/27/2011

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No.

Eyewitness Testimony can be incredibly misleading. What one person sees, hears and feels can be vastly different from what the person next to them sees, hears and feels. There have been more than one case where a victim of a violent crime has given evidence identifying their attacker to have DNA evidence disprove this years down the track.

It needs a combination of evidence to convict someone, not just one alone.

Shannintipton - posted on 07/27/2011

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I could not do a composite drawing of my hubby and we have been together a long time. Let alone of someone I have just seen once in the middle of a crime.

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