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Is witness testimony reliable in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2022 | blog, Criminal Defense

When it comes to criminal cases, eyewitness testimony can be one of the most important pieces of evidence. However, there are a number of problems with relying on this type of evidence. If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s important to understand the potential weaknesses of eyewitness testimony.

Why is eyewitness testimony often unreliable?

Eyewitness testimony is when a person who witnessed an event testifies in court about what they saw. There are a number of reasons why eyewitness testimony is often unreliable. First, human memory is far from perfect. People often remember things that didn’t happen, or they forget important details.

Second, memories can be influenced by what people see and hear after the event. For example, if someone sees a news report about a crime, that can influence their memories of the event.

Third, eyewitnesses can get influenced by leading questions from police officers or prosecutors. This is often referred to as “tunnel vision.” When people get focused on one thing, they often miss other important details.

Finally, some people may deliberately lie about what they saw. Eyewitness testimony can be very powerful, but it’s important for defendants and criminal defense teams to understand its potential weaknesses.

What investigators do to corroborate eyewitness testimony

There are a number of things that investigators do to try to corroborate eyewitness testimony. First, they will try to find other witnesses to the event. Second, they will look at physical evidence, such as CCTV footage or DNA evidence. Third, they will take into account the biases of the witness.

For example, if the witness is known to have a bias against the defendant, the investigator may take that into account. Finally, they may try to find inconsistencies in the witness’s story.

Investigators who fail to take these factors into account can end up convicting innocent people. That’s why it’s so important to understand the potential problems with eyewitness testimony.

In some cases, innocent people get convicted based on eyewitness testimony. However, there are a number of obvious problems with this type of evidence. If you’re facing criminal charges, you should consider these problems when building your defense.