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Word Count: 3,170
One evening in May 1975 two men robbed a store manager The robbers had wanted the manager to open the store safe but he convinced the armed men that he did not know the combination Instead he gave them his own money to satisfy them After they had left the manager called the police and gave them the make of the robbers car Later Lonnie and Sandy Sawyer two brothers were arrested because they were driving the same kind of car The store manager positively identified them even though the two brothers had alibi witnesses the jury believed the store manager After the two men were sent to jail their families hired private investigators to research into the case because they believed that their sons were innocent Sure enough they found the real robbers and Lonnie and Sandy were set free This is just one example of a case of mistaken identity by an eyewitness Eyewitness Testimony There have been many cases like the Sawyer brothers where an eyewitness convicts an innocent person of a crime Even though the eyewitness believes that they remember the crime or the perpetrator of the crime correctly in reality many different things could have affected their memory so that their recollections are not totally correct Memory is very malleable and should not be counted on as being the whole truth The witnesses testimonies are not only affected by changed memories but by leading questions biased lineups stress and age All of these factors can cause the eyewitness testimony to be less accurate and in the worst case scenario an innocent person could be sent to jail just because the witness misidentified himher In the courtroom juries rely too heavily on the eyewitness when they really should only use the witness as another source of evidence Memory is one of the main tools that the eyewitness relies on to tell the jury of the crime Unfortunately memory is very
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