Ronald Cotton

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Marikitty
Words 894
Pages 4
Knowing that many innocent people are convicted or even sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit shows that as a society we have to fix a broken legal system. If not, we all are vulnerable to be wrongfully identified as a criminal. There are many reasons why eyewitness identification are dangerous. First of all, memory is not accurate. Second, memory can be altered by other environmental factors and contaminated by new memories. And last but not least they have a tremendous power on the outcome of a trial. Some of the steps that the legal system can take to fix the problem are: to accept the fact that there is a problem, get informed and make changes to fix this problem that is affecting the life of many innocent victims.

In North Carolina, Ronald Cotton was convicted for one count of rape and two more for burglary and sentenced to life and 54 years in the year of 1987. He was Identified by Jennifer Thomson as the man who entered her apartment, searched through her belongings, cut the phone cables, sexually assaulted her , fled away, and raped another women half a mile away. During the assault Jennifer try to study the face of her aggressor, in her mind, she was 100% sure of how the assailant would look like if she just had him in front of her. She worked with a detective to create a composite sketch and a few days later, she was informed they had a suspect. Her accuracy to identify the picture of her aggressor was low at choosing one picture out of five , she admits having a hard time identifying her aggressor. She even compares the feeling to the one students feel when taking a multiple choice test. Ronald was locked up and days later put up in a physical line up. Jennifer picked Ronald Cotton for the second time and this reinforces Jennifer thoughts of identifying Ronald as the criminal. In her mind, he was the one. Confidently she points a…...

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