criminal defense eyewitness identification

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2017 | Criminal Defense

In Criminal Law and Criminal Defense, an accused can only be found guilty if the government can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, for the accused, the evidence that the government frequently possesses is eyewitness testimony, which history has proven is one of the most unreliable forms of evidence in existence. learn about sex crimes The reason that eyewitness testimony is so unreliable is that it is very arbitrary and often subject to suggestion by police officers or even other witnesses. It is frequently very difficult for people to remember what other folks who they have never met looked like at a given time, it is even more difficult to remember these specifics during times of intense stress, poor lighting condition etc. Despite the problems with eyewitness testimony and how prone it is to error, jury’s frequently convict criminal defendants of extremely serious charges based on nothing more than eyewitness testimony. Thankfully, there has recently been a change in Pennsylvania law which gives criminal defendants a tool that they can use to combat these bad eyewitness identifications.

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania drastically changed what is permissible in the realm of criminal defense and criminal law in Pennsylvania when it comes to eyewitness testimony. Prior to 2014, it was impermissible for a criminal defendant to call an expert witness to testify on the witness stand about the problems with eyewitness testimony. Lancaster County Defense attorney In 2014, the Supreme Court held that the admission of expert testimony regarding eyewitness identification is now permissible so long as the judge believes it would assist the jury in making an informed decision. Meaning an expert witness may not testify for the defense talking about how unreliable this form of evidence is. It is important to consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer if you have been charged with a crime. Contact the former County Assistant District Attorneys at the Bellwoar Kelly, LLP today.

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