Witness Misidentification: Case of Herman Atkin

Witness Misidentification: Case of Herman Atkin

Many cases have shown how eyewitness testimony can be unreliable in a case since it may lead to witness misidentification. I chose the case of Herman Arkin because it reveals how witness misidentification can lead to wrongful convictions. Herman Atkin was wrongly charged and convicted of rape and robbery in 1986 (Innocence Project, 2016). He served 12 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit after initially being sentenced to 45 years in prison. In April 1986, a female clerk was robbed at gunpoint and raped. Unfortunately, the assailant ejaculated and wiped his semen onto the clerk’s sweater. After being shown the yearbook at the police station, she recognized Herman Arkin claiming that he was the person who assaulted her. In the year 1999, The Innocence Project was permitted to access Arkin’s evidence and to conduct some DNA tests. After Forensic science performed the tests on separate areas of the evidence, Atkins was excluded. After spending 12 years in prison, Atkins was finally released in 2000. Arkin’s case is significant since shows the faults of using eye witness in identification decisions made by the Criminal Justice System and why other critical strategies should be used.

In Atkin’s case, Herman Atkin was identified as a suspect of raped and robbery through eyewitness memory. According to studies from The Innocence Project, the group that has for over a decade been getting the wrongfully convicted released based on DNA evidence, eye witness memory can be unreliable in solving cases. In the case, Atkin was identified through an eye witness who was working at the store next to where the rape incident occurred (Innocence Project, 2018). The witness did not identify Atkin until she saw a poster of him on other charges that were not related to the rape. After being shown the standard lineup of the suspects she identified Atkins as the rapist. In addition to the eyewitness testimony lab, results were consistent with Atkins type.

In Herman Arkin’s case, the witness wrongfully testified against him, leading to 12 years imprisonment for a crime he did not commit (Innocence Project, 2016). Different types of measures could have been used by the investigators to improve the accuracy of eyewitness misidentification. Until recently, it was common for defense attorneys to be denied the use of expert witnesses to explain to juries why eyewitness memory is often unreliable. In many jurisdictions, there have been recent efforts to address this issue, primarily through jury instruction and permitting expert testimony on the subject, but the problem remains pervasive.  The investigators could have considered several measures to improve the accuracy of eye witness identification. One of them is interviewing witnesses immediately after the crime was committed and keeping a record (Jones & Penrod, 2018). Also, the investigators should have noted why the suspect was believed to be guilty of the crime before placing him on the line-up. The investigators should have also documented the level of confidence of the eyewitness at the time when she first identified the suspect. Nonetheless, the investigators should examine the witness’ confidence level from a self-report statement. This self-report should also be documented for further analysis. These measures would have significantly helped the investigators improve eye witness identification accuracy.

According to the video report, the leading cause of witness misidentification that leads to false convictions is the use of eyewitness memory in making identification decisions. Eye witness memory is not nearly as reliable as law enforcement and prosecutors want to claim. Eye witness memory is often not the most substantial evidence in the prosecutor’s arsenal, especially when there is more than one eye witness (Innocence Project, 2016). People view the same event differently, but it can become quite formidable when used in combination with strong circumstantial evidence. As to events, eyewitness testimony is exceptionally reliable, and to the identification of persons involved in those events, it is notoriously unreliable. Eyewitness memory is more or less important, depending on the availability of physical. They also are highly susceptible to suggestions by the interviewer, and once a subliminal suggestion is offered, it becomes a memory for them. A recollection of events in eyewitness memory is still questionable. The mind automatically fills in the blanks, and people seem to think this is a fact when it is not. Take, for instance, the mind’s natural inclination to see faces in almost anything. It happens in anything that even remotely resembles a look. This is how the Herman Atkins case was misjudged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Jones, A. M., & Penrod, S. (2018). Improving the effectiveness of the Henderson instruction safeguard against unreliable eyewitness identification. Psychology, Crime & Law, 24(2), 177-193.

Innocence Project. (2016, March 30). Herman Atkins. https://innocenceproject.org/cases/herman-atkins/

Innocence Project. (2018, November 19). Human factors of wrongful conviction: Eyewitness Identification [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLNyzAE3k9g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homework Essay Paper Writers
Calculate your order
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Choose Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always confirm that writers follow all of your instructions precisely. you'll choose your academic level: highschool, college/university or professional, Your order will be assigned to a writer who possesses a respective degree.

Highly Experienced Paper Writers

Highly Experienced Paper Writers

Our team of professional academic writers has years of vast experience in academic writing, research, and formatting. So you can always be sure that your project is in safe hands.

Free Revisions Essay Writing

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you believe we missed something, feel free to send your order for a free revision. After receipt of the final document, You have 10 days to submit the order for review. A revision can be submitted by logging into your personal account or by contacting our support team.

Timely Assignment Delivery

Timely Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

We ensure that all papers are always delivered on the expected time. In any case, if we require more time to polish your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you are not in a position to allocate additional time, a 100% order refund is guaranteed.

Plagiarism free custom writing

Plagiarism free & Confidential

As part of our quality assurance process, we use several writing tools and checks to ensure that all documents you receive are 100% unique and original.Each paper undergoes careful review by our editors to deliver plagiarism free essays. We also guarantee maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

Real time chat essay writer

Real time online chat with your writer

Our writers and support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to assist you. We are committed to providing you with top-notch customer experience. Chat with us anytime.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Get your paper done in these simple steps

give essay topic

Give your requirements

Fill in the order form and tell us about your assignment, instructions and deadline

pay for essay

Proceed with the payment

Choose your preferred payment method and the writer will start writing your custom paper.

download custom essay

Download the final file

Once your high quality custom paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Paper Writing Services

We are here to ensure you dont get stuck with your coursework and assignments. Focus on your hobbies and enjoy some quality leisure time as we write your paper. You can trust our kinds of writing services.

essay writing service essay helper

Essays

Essay Writing Service

Stuck with an essay assignment? Making an admission application? We specialize in writing high quality and engaging personal statements as well as application essays. Our professional academic essay writers are experts in writing 100% original essays according to order specifications. From compositions, creative writing to literary analysis we've got you covered.

professional assignment Help assignment writer

Assignments

Professional assignment Help

Your routine homework and academic assignments are completed on time and at affordable prices. Submit your assignments and the respective subject matter expert will get it done within no time and painlessly. Better grades will be yours without any stress at all!

research paper writing service english essay writer

Research

Research and Term Papers

Every member of our dynamic essay writing team is an expert in academic research. They are all well versed with APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard citation formats. Your research paper gets to you fully formatted and ready to be submitted. The research involved in writing your paper is always 100% original. This is part of our commitment to provide you with papers free of plagiarism.

custom writing academic writer

Custom Writing

Custom Writing Services

Our highly experienced business, nursing, and psychology writers are true professionals with vast prowess at delivering outstanding work in a wide range of fields. You dont have to worry about Short deadlines anymore. Just give us the instructions and you'll receive your custom paper ASAP! We have fully qualified, full-pro writers on stand by to assist you.