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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127925 Find in a Library
Title: Performance of Witnesses When Giving Evidence and Making Eyewitness Identification
Journal: Canadian Police College Journal  Volume:14  Issue:4  Dated:(1990)  Pages:233-246
Author(s): L Thomassin; M Alain
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 14
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Format: Article
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study examines whether certain individual differences between eyewitnesses have an effect on a statement and an eyewitness identification.
Abstract: Two groups of subjects, one group of future police officers and one group of medical students, were tested as witnesses in certain given situations. Comparing the performance of the future police officers with that of the civilians at the time of the statement, it was clear that they had provided more physical and clothing descriptions but that they were not more accurate. When the time came for visual identification, the future police officers did not identify the suspect more easily; instead, they selected more often an innocent party. While making more mistakes, these future police officers were more certain of their selections than the civilians. Also, the study revealed that men provided more physical descriptions than women and their descriptions were more accurate. Men also claim to be more certain of their selection. The findings in this study should prompt judges and jury members to be extremely careful when dealing with eyewitness identification procedures, but especially when faced with the credibility of testimonies and witnesses. 4 tables and 32 references
Main Term(s): Witness credibility
Index Term(s): Evidence collection; Testimony; Witness assistance
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