If you are ever accused of a crime in Michigan, an eyewitness statement could be vital to the prosecution’s case against you. Here at Bazzi Law, PLC, we are familiar with helping clients with legal matters regarding mistaken identity and false allegations.
Many factors contribute to eyewitness accounts being less than reliable. Becoming familiar with these facts could be instrumental in mounting a legal defense.
Understanding eyewitness variables
According to research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, several variables impact eyewitness accounts. For instance, the distance from the accused and how well the accused person is lit impact how well the eyewitness is able to describe and identify the person. The eyewitness could also hold certain prejudices against certain races, cultures, religions and the like, which also makes a difference in the person’s account of the accused’s appearance and actions.
Confidence can go awry
Some eyewitnesses are wholly confident in their accounts, but that confidence does not automatically equal accuracy. Such confidence is often built on what the eyewitness believes to be an accurate truth, but that still does not mean the eyewitness’s confident account is what actually transpired.
An eyewitness’s memory is subject to distortion over time. Memories can shift when the eyewitness learns of new evidence or recounts the events to other people. The brain creates memories from more than just visual input. This is another case where bias and perceived interpretation mold memories.
Cases of mistaken identity have far-reaching effects
It is not unusual for innocent people to be sent to prison because of faulty eyewitness accounts. Years of life may be lost in prison until scientific evidence clears a person’s name of any wrongdoing.
Indisputable evidence and accounts are essential to prove a person’s innocence. For more information on this subject, please visit our page on criminal defense.