60 Minutes – Eye Witness Testimony

60 Minutes – Eye Witness Testimony

Lesley Stahl, journalist of 60 minutes recently profiled a case out of North Carolina where the eyewitness testimony of a rape victim turned out to be wrong, leading to an innocent man’s conviction and 11 year incarceration before DNA evidence proved his innocence. This is a fascinating story about how flaws in the way police collect (and produce) victims’ visual memories can lead to wrongful convictions.

In America over 200 convicted prisoners have been proven innocent by more recent DNA tests. The most common element in all wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA evidence has been eyewitness testimony. In this segment two psychologists show how fragile human memory is and how easily it can be influenced leading to eyewitnesses who are absolutely convinced they are telling the truth and yet still they are proven wrong.

Read a script of the show in PDF format.

2 thoughts on “60 Minutes – Eye Witness Testimony

  1. Yes, this is crazy, but not that crazy…
    A lot of people who are in law, officers, or even regular civilians make these commen mistake. Of course this was based off of memory, but the other cases of people being accused wrongfully happen all of the time. If only they prayed before making a decision…

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