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Inaccurate eyewitness identifications are very common

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2018 | Murder / Homicide Charges |

In a lot of murder and homicide cases, the jury leans heavily on eyewitness testimony. If someone who is deemed trustworthy says that a suspect committed the crime or was spotted at the scene, that carries a lot of weight.

The problem with this is that studies show that eyewitness misidentification contributes to more wrongful convictions than anything else. We know this because DNA evidence can overturn these cases in the future. When indisputable evidence indicates that a person is innocent even though an eyewitness picked them out of a lineup or testified against them, it exposes one of the biggest problems with the justice system.

How common is it? When looking at these overturned convictions, misidentification is found in a staggering 70 percent of cases. It’s such a heavy majority that it makes you wonder about all the other cases that have gone through based mostly on witness testimony.

The thing is, the witness may not be lying intentionally. It may be a simple and honest mistake. The alleged criminal may look similar to the person who actually committed the crime, and the eyewitness can’t tell the difference in a fast-paced, high-stress situation. That’s why the person seems so confident and trustworthy in court. They believe they are telling the truth, but they have actually made a crucial error that puts an innocent person in jail.

If you’re facing serious charges, it’s crucial to understand how often these mistakes happen and the impact they can have on your life. Make sure you fully understand all of your legal defense options. You must know how to ensure that you get a fair trial.