Belief of Eyewitness Identification Evidence

Authored by: Melissa Boyce , Jennifer L. Beaudry , R. C. L. Lindsay

Handbook of Eyewitness Psychology

Print publication date:  October  2006
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805881073
eBook ISBN: 9781315805535
Adobe ISBN: 9781317777830

10.4324/9781315805535.ch19

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Abstract

Imagine you are a juror in a trial. An eyewitness testifies that she saw a man walk into a convenience store, point a gun at the cashier, demand all of the money from the register, and then shoot the cashier. She points to the defendant and identifies him as the stickup man. Are you inclined to believe her? Does it matter how certain she is of her decision? What if she only had a glimpse of the man’s face? What if she wasn’t wearing her glasses, and as a result had impaired vision? Does it matter if the defendant is of the same race as the witness? Would it matter if the witness had been a young child rather than an adult? Would the police procedures used to question the witness sway your decision in any way? Would the police procedures used to obtain the identification influence your decision?

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