Last night’s execution of convicted murderer Troy Davis reportedly sent those convinced of Davis’ innocence into hysterics. One of their concerns — that eyewitness testimony in the case had been recanted — also concerns cognitive scientists.
“This is not the first time a person is pretty much convicted based on eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence,” said Jason Chan, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University, adding that the number of eyewitnesses who later recanted their testimony was “relatively unusual.”
Seven of nine witnesses who implicated Davis in the shooting of a police officer recanted their testimonies. Others reporting the man who originally implicated Davis was actually the killer.
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