When you’re on trial for a crime in Texas, the credibility of your witnesses can make or break your case. And when it comes to eyewitness testimony, juries tend to give a lot of weight to what they hear. However, eyewitness testimony is often unreliable.
Why is that the case?
There are a number of reasons why eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. First, human memory is fallible. People tend to remember things that didn’t happen or forget important details. Generally, people are more likely to remember things that are consistent with their prior beliefs or expectations.
Second, eyewitnesses can be influenced by leading questions from police officers or prosecutors. For instance, a police officer might ask a witness, “Did you see the defendant with a gun in their hand?” The answer to that question is likely to get influenced by the way it was asked.
Third, eyewitnesses can be influenced by other witnesses. For example, if one witness says they saw the defendant with a gun, another witness may be more likely to “remember” seeing the same thing, even if they didn’t actually see it.
Lastly, eyewitnesses may be under stress when they observe a crime. This can lead to them having poorer memories of what happened.
How can you protect yourself if you’re facing criminal charges based on eyewitness testimony?
If you’re facing criminal charges, you can work with your criminal defense team to challenge the credibility of the eyewitnesses. There are a number of ways to do this, but it will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if there is evidence that the police used leading questions when interviewing witnesses, that might be used to challenge their testimony. If there are inconsistencies in what different witnesses saw, you could use that to cast doubt on their credibility.
If you’re facing criminal charges, the testimony of witnesses can be a critical factor in your case. Fortunately, there are ways to challenge the credibility of eyewitnesses.