Forensic Paper

758 words - 4 pages

Dictionary.com defines an eyewitness as, “a person who actually sees some act, occurrence, or thing and can give a firsthand account of it.” Each year, over 75,000 eyewitnesses identify suspects in the US, but how many of them are actually correct? “Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.” Since 1992, the Innocence Project has been working to exonerate wrongfully convicted suspects, including many who were victims of eyewitness misidentification. Through DNA testing, over 200 people have been found innocent of crimes they were originally convicted of. Although ...view middle of the document...

Also since we are humans, our natural instinct is to protect our self. If a weapon, such as a gun or knife, is present, a witness is more likely to focus on it than on the one holding it. It can also just depend on the person. Women are more likely to remember more about another woman and the same goes for men. We are also more likely to remember more about someone who is the same race as us.
In 1984, a man broke into 22-year-old Jennifer Thomson’s apartment and raped her at knife point. Throughout the attack, Jennifer made a point to remember her assailants face. She later went to the police and worked with an artist to create a composite sketch. When shown a lineup of suspects, she chose a man named Ronald Cotton multiple times as her attacker. Cotton was tried and found guilty fairly quickly. When in prison, though, he met another inmate who bragged of assaulting Jennifer. There was another trial where Jennifer again chose Cotton and swore she had never seen the other man before. It was only years later that DNA proved that was Cotton innocent and the other inmate had attacked Jennifer....

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