Don’t trust what you see with your own eyes

Posted on Tuesday, March 21st, 2006 at 2:02 pm by JTE

Eyewitness testimony is increasingly recognized as terribly untrustworthy. Not because the witness is lying, but because many factors can influence how a person comes to decide what their memory is and how strongly they believe that their memory is good. Even after encountering incontrovertible proof that they were wrong about pointing out a suspect as the guilty person, some eye witnesses continue to insist that they must be right, because that’s what their memory tells them. Human brains are remarkable. Human brains are not very good when confronted with traumatic experiences. Justice requires reality–our brains are rarely fully up to the task. Gregory Wallis is only the latest to prove this.

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