After watching this, all I can feel is sorrow for Ron. He spent 11 years of his life trying to prove his innocents. I could not imagine the way he felt. If DNA were not discovered, Ron would probably be still sitting in jail. In all honesty, I think in that situation and under those circumstances Jennifer probably just wanted justice and closure to her incident so bad, that she looked at the first man she recognized and chose him. Its not her fault that he looked similar to the actual rapist, but it just goes to show eyewitness reliability is vague.
I find there to be two levels that this particular case can be judged upon: psychologically, I find it both fascinating and frightening how we can manipulate ourselves into being locked into a permanent mindset, never to be phased by change; socially, for the matter that judgement could fall so easily based upon stereotypes and assumptions. Cotton became the real victim in this case- a seemingly reborn, innocent teen sentenced to a fate that no humanly soul could possibly fathom. I mean imagine being blindsided by the law yourself, and forced to throw years of your life away at the toll of a person that could gladly live off of the freedom that they should no longer have rights to. At this time, serving somebody else's time wasn't unheard of, and I'm happy to live in a time where the blame can be narrowed down in a more reasonable way than just by word of mouth or the pointing of a finger. Ridiculously sad, rushed mistakes at a costly price. I'm surprised the man didn't go insane.
I hate to hear about circumstances like these. Ron is one of many cases that happens all the time and it's unfortunate. You can't blame Jennifer for her accusation because Ron did look similar, and as learned in psychology Jennifer's memory had her mindset fixed that it was Ron and unfortunately it costed Ron 11years of his life. In the future somebody needs to figure out a way to avoid this from happening because it is sad that it happens so often.
At first I sat Dumbfounded in front of my computer after I watched the first part. Then I asked myself, "How could anyone mistakenly accuse the wrong person for committing such a crime, when you studied their face to a tee?"
As I continued to watch the second part, I started to slowly understand how Jennifer had accused Ron Cotton in such a way. Just looking at the two photos of Ro and Pool, anyone could think that they were either siblings or the same person. I feel really bad for Ron, because he lost 11 years of his life that he will never get back, no matter how much money he gets form the state. I really commend Ron for forgiving Jennifer, because I don't think I would be able to find it in me to fully forgive her and move past something like that. It never really connected in my mind to think that memory plays such a big part in crimes like these. I really hope that U.S. justice system will continue to try and improve their eyewitness procedures.
After watching this story, I wasn't really surprised what happened in this situation. People can have eyewitness testimonies and end up being wrong, but based on belief bias we tend to believe we are right. Just like in the case of Jennifer, she believed wholeheartedly that Ron was the man who raped her, but it wasn't. As for Ron, I felt sorry for him, and the truth is he will never experience 11 years that he lost. This is why we should be cautious when we judge eyewitness testimonies because they tend to be unreliable.
cool vid. it's amazing how deceiving our memory can be. too bad for Ron though. He spent like a decade trying to prove his innocence, but no one believed him. He could have easily been mistaken for Pool though. That just shows you that victims of crime can be tricked by there own brain smh..
when I first started watching this I was really baffled as to how she could confuse the people but then I immediately thought about the video that we saw in your class about how there was that one woman who thought she chose the right criminal when the man stole some mans wallet. This really shows that the mind can be a very tricky thing when it comes to identifying certain things and it's kind of sad to see that he really had to suffer for 11 years in jail for a crime he did not commit and its even more sad because there are many more people in the exact same boat as Ronald Cotton who probably will never get proven innocent.
When I watched part 1 of this story, I felt a lot of anger for this women who put this innocent man in jail for 11 years, but now, after seeing the entire interview, I don't feel like she was at fault. Yes, she was wrong, and THAT is what we need to remember, that our memory is so faulty. It's hard to tell what is right and wrong, especially when we have people practically confirming our beliefs. That is what makes us seem so confident. It's just wonderful to know that we have more technology today to help in cases like this. All states should pass laws like this one, where people are less effected by framing or certain diction. Computer questioning seems like a way of the future.
This case is very tragic, because a man who did not commit the crime spent years in jail for it all because they did not have the right guy in the pictures of the line up. But , I do admit that they did resemble each other. It is also a shame that this is not a one time thing it happens all the time, but you cannot expect the victim to choose the right person if the right person is not present.
If a person is not in a photo line up we convince ourselves that one of these individuals is the perpetrator. We convince ourselves that this person is the individual who wronged us, especially if you were proven right on multiple occasions. You so desperately want it to be that individual that you forget about the other possibilities. You just convince yourself who it is and stick to it. This is the main reason why I don't approve of death penalties. There are so many things that could go wrong during the trials. Once the person is dead there is no bringing them back, even if you found that you convicted the wrong individual. You may think that this incident is an isolated one, but that is not true. There are many more cases like this one where people where wrongfully convicted. Micheal Morton spent roughly 25 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. He lost his son, his family, his life due to the justice system. If he was sentenced to death for this murder, then instead of getting exonerated he would've, instead, been dead.
I never have been a firm beliver of eye witness acounye especially if there is probable doubt. I've always felt that phresicts should always be a court room plan A rather than a back up. The reason I say this is because when you are stressed out there is no way you can think straight with your adrenalin levels sky rocketing. I think the witness should be your plan B to verify what you should already know.
This case is just one of many that proves that using an eye witness as evidence is just too big a risk to take. People are just too susceptible to making a mistake. Mr. Lackey always tells us we assume everyone is like us, which is not true. An eyewitness can suffer from face blindness and not even know its. When asked about whatever occurred false information can be easily given. I am not saying Jennifer suffers from face blindness, but just that the justice system should stop assuming that everyone is capable of being a witness just because somebody was near the crime or saw it happen. Jennifer could have easily been blinded by her hatred that in her mind when she saw Mr. Cotton she pictured him as her rapist. I mean the woman prayed that he would get raped in jail! When it comes to being a witness the human memory is just too fickle to rely on. With our ability to have false memories or difficulty retrieving information we saw it is easy to ruin the lives others. We need to continue relying on true scientific evidence like DNA.
At first when I was watching this the woman that was raped looked almost too happy to be on tv. Reading her facial expressions and listening to her voice it sickened me because it almost seemed as if she was proud to put this man to jail not knowing he was the wrong person. As the second video progressed I immediately took that back seeing as both of them have learned to forgive each other. Our minds are like play doh so I can understand how she was unintentionally tricked to blaming him via the way she was given the suspects. I'm glad our justice system now is more secure and has DNA and more safety measures to prevent things like this from happening in the future.
Even though I did not find this surprising at all, I still got sort of angry at what happened to the poor man! Our memory is both very good and very horrible. humans aren't very reliable. I strongly believe line ups should not be used in our justice system. We are just not reliable. Using them would be taking a huge with and can evoke bad consequences. I can see where you would want to use them when a case is starting to go cold and you have no leads but it would still be a huge risk
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