Could eyewitness testimony lack credibility?

A star witness for the prosecution could make things uncomfortable for a defendant. Not every witness that makes statements in a New York courtroom is credible, though. Eyewitness testimony and evidence might suffer from flaws. Such flaws may be so egregious that a prosecutor’s case ends up falling apart. Eyewitness testimony is sometimes far from perfect and, possibly, not true.

The trouble with eyewitness testimony

One problem with eyewitness testimony centers on people suffering from faulty memory or misjudging what they saw. Security camera footage may reveal someone entered a building at a specific time. The footage shows the person’s face clearly, and there are no mistakes about who the person is.

A person trying to recollect the events may sincerely believe he or she saw a specific person enter the premises at a particular time. However, a strong alibi suggests the witness is mistaken entirely. Hence, the testimony may lose significant value.

Other issues could arise that cast doubts on witness testimony. An older person may suffer memory issues or misremember details, for example. Problems with the testimony may render it dubious.

Falsehoods on the stand

Situations may arise when a witness outright lies. Reasons for providing false testimony will vary. Some witnesses could lie to draw attention away from wrongdoing. Others could hold a personal grudge against the defendant. Regardless, a person providing false testimony might make inconsistent statements that destroy credibility. Hopefully, the court sees through the falsehood.

Did the police coerce a witness into making false statements? If so, then the testimony may get thrown out, and law enforcement personnel could be the next to face charges.

A criminal defense attorney could challenge eyewitness testimony and accounts. The attorney may also advise the client of options when the witness’ testimony appears to fall apart.