A study conducted at Northwestern University indicates that memories are continually distorted where they are recalled over a period of time by eyewitnesses.  Each time an eyewitness remembers an event from the past, their brain networks change in ways that can alter the memory when it is recalled later.  The study suggests tat the next time the event is recalled it may be the prior memory and not the original event that is actually remembered.  The Northwestern study is the first to show such results.

The study appears to validate what criminal defense attorneys have known for quite some time:  eyewitness testimony is one of, if not the least reliable evidence.  According to Donna Bridge, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the paper on the study, the finding has implications for witnesses giving testimony in criminal trials:

Maybe a witness remembers something fairly accurately the first time because his memories aren’t that distorted, after that it keeps going downhill. Donna Bridge

William k. Bradford – Bradford Ladner, LLP.
Alabama Criminal Trial and Appeal Attorneys
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See the complete press release from Northwestern.

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