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Why is eyewitness testimony important to an investigator?

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Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Eyewitness testimony is important to investigators because it provides important insights into precisely what had happened. Live observers to events are crucial to the establishment of reasonably accurate histories. Witness interviews help to fill in blanks in an investigation. They are valuable in the development of criminal cases and are often highly persuasive when testifying before juries. Eyewitness accounts, however, are probably more important to those investigating events than in those attempting to tie specific individuals to a crime. While eyewitness recollections are proven to be accurate most of the time, they are not infallible, especially when the event in question is viewed from a distance, at night, or under adverse conditions such as through a tinted window or through heavy rain. Eyewitnesses might be accurately describing what they saw, but that is not the same as accurately describing what occurred. The stress of a sudden violent incident, for instance, can skew...

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