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Eyewitness Misidentification

The United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, admits that statistically 8 to 12% of all state prisoners are either actually or factually innocent. If this statement alone isn’t harrowing enough, consider this quick statistical delineation. As of January 1, 2010, there were 1,404,053 total inmates in American state prisons, according to Prison Count 2010. If the Bureau of Justice’s mean statistic of falsely imprisoned people is used (10%), then in 2010 there were approximately 140,405 falsely imprisoned people in our country.

Eyewitness testimony is an integral part of the judicial process, but often can be described as a chronic ailment of the American judicial system and one that contributes to wrongful convictions. The evidence is plain to see. Search any credible study or media source, and it will invariably display the same thing. Reliance on the memory of witnesses is, after all, not reliable.

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