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Eyewitness testimony has troubles

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Compelling evidence might lead to a conviction in a criminal case. However, whether something is considered compelling can be a matter of perception. A jury in Tennessee might feel compelled by a witness’s testimony, but the testimony might be inaccurate. Unfortunately, there can be numerous problems with eyewitness testimony. During the defense, it may be possible to point out discrepancies and other issues undermining the credibility of a witness and a prosecutor’s case.

Eyewitness testimony concerns

An eyewitness may believe they saw what they saw, but they might be mistaken. A person’s memory might not be as sharp as they think. Their details might result from filling in blanks in their mind after the event.

Other issues can lead to errors when recalling what someone believes they saw or heard. Distance could create troubling perceptions. Someone might be far away from what they saw, leading to inaccuracies when recalling things. Poor lighting and impaired vision could also hamper visual identification. Distance also affects hearing, and someone may incorrectly repeat misunderstood words.

Malfeasance and eyewitness testimony

Lying under oath is considered a serious violation of criminal law statutes, but many people do so for several reasons. Someone with an agenda or a grudge may lie to the police and the court by providing false testimony to secure a conviction against an individual. Such malfeasance can extend to law enforcement.

The police can attempt to coerce a witness into making a false statement. They might have a personal agenda to secure a conviction. Corruption in law enforcement can lead to various violations of someone’s civil rights. Proving illegal activities that occurred might result in the suppression of evidence. Without critical evidence, proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt can be highly challenging.

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