The unreliability of eye witness testimony in Pennsylvania – Press Release – Digital Journal

Posted: November 17, 2013 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

When a crime is committed in Montgomery County, law enforcement often searches for an eye witness who can place the suspect at the scene. However, there has been a significant amount of evidence uncovered that suggests eyewitness testimony is far from reliable, and has sent people to prison for crimes that they did not commit.

Faulty eyewitness testimony recently led to an order from a Philadelphia judge for two new trials according to 6ABC. The men were convicted of murder in 1998 when they were 18 years old. They were identified by the daughter of the victim but the judge assigned to their appeal ruled that her testimony was faulty. The information she gave during the trial did not match the physical description of the men who were convicted. As a result of the judges ruling, the two men will have the opportunity to prove that they are innocent of the crime.

A common problem

According to the American Bar Association, the 2011 exoneration report for the Innocence Network showed that out of 21 exonerations for that year, 19 were because of eyewitness error. DNA evidence, not available 15 or 20 years ago, has proven many people innocent of serious crimes for which they were handed a life sentence or even sent to death row. Many of these cases were convicted, based on testimony from an eyewitness.

via The unreliability of eye witness testimony in Pennsylvania – Press Release – Digital Journal.

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