What Is Eyewitness Testimony?

Eyewitness testimony is what happens when a person witnesses a crime (or accident, or other legally important event) and later gets up on the stand and recalls for the court all the details of the witnessed event. It involves a more complicated process than might initially bepresumed. It includes what happens during the actual crime to facilitate or hamper witnessing, as well as everything that happens from the time the event is over to the later courtroom appearance. The eyewitness may be interviewed by the police and numerous lawyers, describe the perpetrator to several different people, and make an identification of the perpetrator, among other things.


What can happen to our memory from the time we witness an event to the retelling of that event later? What can influence how we remember, or misremember, highly significant events like a crime or accident? [Image: Robert Couse-Baker, https://goo.gl/OiPUmz, CC BY 2.0, https://goo.gl/BRvSA7]


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

What Is Eyewitness Testimony? Copyright © by Philip Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book