Advertisement

Exposing Coercive Influences in the Criminal Justice System

An Agenda for Legal Psychology in the Twenty-First Century
Chapter
Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 20)

Abstract

Around the beginning of the 1970s, social and behavioral scientists began conducting systematic research on issues related to the accuracy of eyewitnesses in recounting details observed during the commission of a crime. Twenty-five years later, more than 2,000 scientific articles in psychology demonstrated that eyewitness accounts were susceptible to a variety of influences that could potentially render them unreliable (Cutler & Penrod, 1995). For example, Loftus (1979) showed that eyewitness memory was malleable and could be readily altered by information encountered after the initial event. Work by Lindsay and Wells (1985) established that the manner in which police lineups were conducted greatly impacted the number of mistaken identifications made by eyewitnesses. The weight of three decades of such research, in combination with other factors, has recently prompted the legal system to take action in an attempt to prevent erroneous eyewitness testimony from influencing trial outcomes (Wells et al., 2000). Specifically, the United States Department of Justice, with the input of psychological researchers, has translated the scientific literature on eyewitness reports into a first ever set of national guidelines for the collection and preservation of eyewitness evidence (Technical Working Group for Eyewitness Evidence, 1999).

Keywords

Eyewitness Identification Police Interrogation Sequential Lineup Wrongful Conviction False Confession 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bem, D. J. (1966). Inducing belief in false confessions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 3, 707–710.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bern, D. J. (1967, June). When saying is believing. Psychology Today 1, 21–25.Google Scholar
  3. Cutler, B. L., Penrod, S. D. (1995). Mistaken identification: The eyewitness, psychology, and the law. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Innocence Project. (n.d.). Featured issues: False confessions. In Case profiles. Retrieved January 15, 2003, from http://www.innocenceproject.org/case/index.php
  5. Kassin, S. M., Wrightsman, L. S. (1985). Confession evidence. In S. Kassin L. Wrightsman (Eds.), The psychology of evidence and trial procedure (pp. 67–94 ). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Leo, R. A., Drizin, S. (2003). Proven false confessions cases. Retrieved August 15, 2003 from http://www.innocenceproject.org/does /Master_List_False_Confessions.html
  7. Lindsay, R. C. L., Wells, G. L. (1985). Improving eyewitness identification from lineups: Simultaneous versus sequential lineup presentations. Journal of Applied Psychology 70, 556–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Loftus, E. F. (1979). Eyewitness testimony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).Google Scholar
  10. Technical Working Group for Eyewitness Evidence. (1999). Eyewitness evidence: A guide for law enforcement [Booklet]. Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.Google Scholar
  11. Warden, R. (2003). The role of false confessions in Illinois wrongful convictions since 1970. Retrieved August 15, 2003 from http://www.law.northwestern.edu/depts/clinic/wrongful/FalseConfessions.htm
  12. Wells, G. L., Malpass, R. S., Lindsay, R. C. L., Fisher, R. P., Turtle, J. W., Fulero, S. (2000). From the lab to the police station: A successful application of eyewitness research. American Psychologist, 55, 581–598.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Zimbardo, P. G. (1971). Coercion and compliance: The psychology of police confessions. In R. Perruci M. Pilisuk (Eds.), The triple revolution emerging (pp. 492–508 ). Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOhio UniversityAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations