KENNY SITU STAFF WRITER
41 year-old Richard Jones has been released from prison. After being wrongfully incarcerated for stealing a purse, Richard has finally gotten released after 17 years. An eyewitness had mistaken him for someone else. Along with the fact that 73 percent of innocent convicts are incarcerated due to faulty witnesses according to The Innocence Project. It is clear that police should not rely solely on them as they are proven to be inaccurate, have caused innocent people to endure terrible punishment and with development of crime solving tools such as DNA the sole use of eyewitnesses should be averted.
To start, it is believed that 1 in 25 on death row are innocent according to The Washington Post and an estimate of 120,000 innocent people in US prisons. Despite several organizations being dedicated to helping these people, it will often take years for them to get their innocence. For example, Jones, had been convicted for stealing a purse and sent to 19 years in prison take 17 years he finally proved his innocence. Only recently it was discovered that an eyewitness had mistaken him for a look-alike.
In addition, eyewitnesses are unreliable as they undergo intense stress during the crime, memory of what happened will be altered and changed by things such as wigs, masks or weapons. Scientists have claimed that there is often a confirmation bias from what really happens, memories tend to be altered or blocked when under stress or after a traumatic event, this is why stories are often different or changed a bit.
In conclusion, Police should not rely solely on eyewitnesses. They are unreliable and responsible for many of wrongfully the convicted. With new technology like DNA the government should begin to rely on something more concrete. There are many stories like Richard’s and with 120000 people stuck in the same situation. Thus,Police should stop relying on eyewitness and rely on concrete evidence.