For your essay, you will take the role of an expert in the area of eyewitness memory. You should imagine that a lawyer has contacted you because her client claims to be innocent and the evidence against him is provided exclusively by eyewitnesses. Imagine that you have accepted a consulting fee to write an opinion letter in the case (i.e., you have agreed to provide a written evaluation of the evidence in the case from the perspective of an eyewitness expert).
It is important to keep in mind that experts do not and should not make judgments about the culpability of defendants or the reliability of witnesses. Instead, they provide information based on their specialized expertise—in this case knowledge of empirical research on eyewitness memory—that allows the triers of fact (judges, jurors) to judge culpability and reliability. When experts testify, they do so independent of the defence and prosecution.
The information in the transcript you will be provided—similar to the example provided later in this module guide—will outline the facts in a case as presented at a preliminary hearing. You should read through this theoretical case and provide your opinions as an eyewitness expert. That is, you should write a report which details how the memories and testimony of eyewitnesses in this particular case may have been affected by what occurred during and after the crime. You should not comment on aspects of the case outside of your expertise (i.e., your expertise about eyewitness memory).
Your letter will be assessed for both breadth in terms of issues raised and depth in terms of specifying why an issue was raised and the discussion of the relevant literature. It is worth keeping in mind that the courts in North America, following from the Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993) case, expect that experts will testify about research that is reliable. The UK does not have any specific legal precedent, but see here for more information: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn248.pdf. One way that research on a topic has been shown to meet the Daubert test is when a meta-analysis demonstrates the effect. Therefore, you may want to consider referring to meta-analyses in your report, if they exist in relation to the point about the case that you are discussing. Regardless, it is expected that you will also discuss original research in your report
– Citations and a references page are REQUIRED
– You need not address the essay (which is in the form of a letter/report) to anyone
– You should not comment on aspects of the case beyond “eyewitness memory” – you are on an expert ONLY in eyewitness memory.
– You should not provide a decision about whether the defendant is guilty or not – experts are independent
Type of service: Academic Paper Writing
Type of assignment: Essay
Number of Sources: 0
Academic level: Undergraduate
Paper Format: APA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: UK English