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Eyewitness the movie and the issue of identification - Essay Example

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Eyewitness the Movie and the Issue of Identification Introduction For many years,a debate on the issue of eyewitness identification and testimony has been raging with thin the justice system.One camp pushes the concept that that eyewitness identification is not reliable and is,in fact,detrimental to the pursuit of genuine justice. …
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Download file to see previous pages Eyewitness the Movie and the Issue of Identification Introduction For many years, a debate on the issue of eyewitness identification and testimony has been raging with thin the justice system.One camp pushes the concept that that eyewitness identification is not reliable and is, in fact, detrimental to the pursuit of genuine justice. This side of the argument insists that eyewitness accounts have many times resulted into the resolution of cases based on testimonies, which could be subjective and inaccurate, instead of on the merits of physical evidences, which could be more concrete and objective. The opposing camp, on the other hand, insists that eyewitness accounts are necessary to hasten the resolution of criminal cases in court. It stresses the point that without the testimony of a person who saw the crime committed, positive identification of the suspects cannot be achieved. Even as the debate on the merits and demerits of the two sides continue though, there have been films and television shows that tackle the issue directly and indirectly. The movie Eyewitness may not have presented a courtroom drama that dealt with the pros and cons eyewitness testimony but it did present the filmmaker’s own perspective on the issue. It did so by depicting a character that wishes to present himself as a witness to a crime not because he is interested in seeing the resolution of a murder case but because of his personal objective of winning the affection of a person. Weakness of Eyewitness Testimony Eyewitness is a movie that was released in 1981. The film was directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich. It stars William Hurt as Daryll Deever, the janitor who discovered the body of a murder victim in the building he is working in. Sigourney Weaver plays the role of a zealous television reporter, Tony Sokolow, who wants to get a scoop of the murder case. Deever sees the opportunity of becoming close to Sokolow when he presented himself as someone who discovered the body. While this may be true though, Deever goes to the extent of insinuating that he saw more than just the dead body but also the actual crime while it was committed. This leads Tony to be interested in Deever’s account, hoping to be the first to broadcast the story to the public. Tony actually is already in a relationship with someone else, Joseph played by Christopher Plummer. However, just to have a story, she manages to flirt a little with Deever. Joseph, on the other hand, is also very interested about what Deever knows which is why he is not quite concerned about the relationship between Tony and Daryll. The attempt by Deever to maintain Tony’s interest in him later turned into the source of conflict in the film. The murderers begins to consider the possibility that Daryll may have indeed witness the commission of the crime and that Tony already knows about it. For fear of being caught by the police, who are already doing investigations on the matter, they run after both Tony and Daryll with the aim of silencing them before their identities are divulged to the public. The police for their part have also begun believing that Daryll may have indeed witnessed the crime and that he could identify the perpetrators. However, the issue that is at stake here really is regarding the credibility of the eyewitness. Deever is obviously motivated by his desire to become personally close to Tony. On the other hand, Tony, who can amplify Deever’s claim because she is a journalist, is only interested in getting a scoop. The police, whose objective is to see that the crime is solved as soon as possible, also have the tendency to believe in whatever story Deever may come up with because of convenience. Here lies the central issue of eyewitness identification. Without determining the possible motivation of the witness, a case could be brought to court with suspects pointed out through the most biased and unscientific means. Through the jury system employed by the American judiciary, the honesty of the witness has a very profound impact on the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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