You’re facing criminal charges and the prosecution claims to have strong evidence against you. One pivotal aspect of their case is eyewitness testimony. Witnesses have come forward and claimed that they saw you carrying out the offense in question.
You know you did not commit any offense, so how can this be happening? The truth is that eyewitness testimony is not always reliable, and here’s why.
The memory is fallible
Witnesses know that something terrible happened and they want someone to face justice for this. More than one person was at the scene, but they are all relatively unclear about what happened. In such a scenario, it only takes one witness to make an error and claim that you were the offending party. As a result, those who are unsure about what happened are likely to go along with this version of events. This is known as “witness conformity” and it has led to many wrongful convictions in the past.
Crimes are traumatic events
Serious criminal offenses result in stress not only for victims but also for witnesses. The crime is likely to have been committed in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. When a witness is stressed, fearful and adrenalized, it’s possible that their mind plays tricks on them and their memory is not completely accurate. It’s hard for someone to make a 100% accurate identification under these circumstances.
You are innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. If there are holes in the story of a witness, then having sound legal guidance behind you will help you to identify these.