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How Accurate Are Eyewitnesses

             The experiment, Be a Juror was studied to explore the importance of eyewitness testimonies in a jury trial. This study looks at both a jury's behavior and an eyewitness's testimony in a mock trial. The focus is mainly on assessing the reliability of eyewitness identifications. For this experiment, Be a Juror there was a total of seventy-five participants. There were a total of sixty-six female participants and nine male participants. All of the participants in this study ages averaged 22 years old. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three possible conditions. The conditions consisted of the no eyewitness, discredited eyewitness, or refuted eyewitness. Twenty-nine participants were exposed to the no eyewitness condition. This experiment was to measure participant's degree of perceived guilt in one of the three conditions. Based on previous research in eyewitness testimonies it is hypothesized that the presence of an eyewitness testimony increases the belief of guilt, regardless of the witness's credibility. .
             Research dealing with eyewitness testimony and related issues have been going on for decades. To this date there continues to be some debate as to the accuracy of eyewitness memory. The experiment, Be a Juror is a study conducted to explore the importance of eyewitness testimonies in a jury trial. This study looks at both the jury's behavior and the eyewitness's testimony in a jury trial. One focus is to assess the reliability of eyewitness identifications. This study is important because of the recent increase in technological advances that have overturned convictions using DNA results that countered eyewitness testimony. This establishes that there are some considerable errors in eyewitness testimonies that have led to many convictions. Earlier research studies attempted to focus on: finding ways to help witnesses in recalling information, the effects of leading questioning by law enforcement agents, suspect identification through such tasks as line ups, and helping in event and identification memory.

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