What color top did your boss wear last Thursday? What did the woman in front of you order at the coffee stand this morning? What do you mean you don’t remember?
Your memory, like most people’s, is not that good. Yet countless people have been put behind bars because someone else said they remembered them being somewhere or doing something.
A report by The Innocence Project found that 254 people sentenced to death since the late ’80s on the word of an eyewitness were later exonerated by DNA evidence.
Some people get it wrong with the best intentions. Others get it wrong on purpose. A drug dealer may say they saw you leaving the building where a crime was committed to avoid going to prison themselves. Or they may set you up, and pay a witness to say they saw you, to teach you a lesson.
If you face criminal charges, the consequences of an eyewitness wrongly identifying you are far more severe than in school. It is vital you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to challenge anyone willing to stand up in court and say they saw you.
Your attorney can challenge the validity of a police line up. They can question how good someone’s eyesight and memory are, or query how someone can be so sure of what they saw from a distance in the dark. They can also investigate if the witness has been influenced by press coverage, or if they have an exterior motive to pin the crime on you.