|Perfect Number of Pages to Order||5-10 Pages|
Discussion Assignment on Memory Distortions
Consider eyewitness testimony, which is a type of judicial testimony that relies on the accuracy of one’s memory. The following scenario illustrates the serious repercussions that certain types of memory distortion can have.
Law enforcement officers presented Jennifer Thompson with a “photographic lineup” in the days after she was raped by an unknown perpetrator in 1984. It was made up of locals who vaguely matched Thompson’s description, including one man who police suspected of being a suspect in the incident. Thompson’s eyewitness testimony was crucial in the case against Ronald Cotton, according to police and the prosecution. Thompson was subsequently brought to trial as a defendant as a result of his memory-based selection of Cotton’s image.
Ronald Cotton was found guilty of rape because to Jennifer Thompson’s eyewitness testimony. Thompson stated how she memorized the characteristics of her assailant’s appearance that fateful night in order to aid in his capture later. Cotton was sentenced to life in prison plus 54 years after the prosecution prevailed based on Thompson’s testimony.
Cotton was exonerated after nearly 11 years on the strength of DNA evidence. Cotton and Thompson have reconciled in the years since his release from prison. They now tour the United States together, speaking about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony in criminal cases. One form of memory distortion is unreliable eyewitness statements of crimes. Consider the circumstances surrounding the Cotton case that may have influenced Thompson’s memory.
You will investigate elements that may impact and cause memory distortions in this Discussion. You also go over the possible ramifications of memory lapses on eyewitness testimony.
Eyewitness misidentification, The Innocence Project, n.d. http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/Eyewitness-Misidentification.php (accessed April 25, 2012).
With the following considerations in mind:
Provide a brief summary of the elements that may influence and cause memory distortions. Then describe how one of those causes could result in a memory lapse. Give an example to back up your answer. Finally, in the context of eyewitness evidence, explain three repercussions of memory distortion. Use the Learning Resources and recent research to support your response.
Make careful to include specific references to the Learning Resources in your postings and responses.