Is it me or is this site in its death throes?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Bowser, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    Your whining will get you nowhere.

    Provide evidence that eyewitness testimony is reliable. I have lost count of how many times I have had to make this request.

    As for your pleading for victims of crimes.. Do you think it serves them to imprison or kill innocent people and leave their actual perpetrators at large in the community, MR? I mean, do you think they are better served, that they will obtain justice for the crimes committed against them, to rely on a system that is so unreliable that these poor victims remain at actual risk as the real perpetrators remain free? Because that is what happens when you imprison the wrong person, MR. Are you aware of that?

    Are you aware of what it does to the victims, when they find out that their testimony jailed the wrong person? When they find out that they have ruined the life of an innocent person?

    Now, tell me how reliable it is, MR, prove it. You keep making the same ridiculous claim and you are yet to back it up. So prove this wrong with actual studies:

    "Off the bat, 35 percent of eyewitness testimonies are wrong," Rebecca Brown, director of state policy reform at the Innocence Project, told VICE.

    And research shows that once you introduce a gun, a perpetrator of a different race, bad lighting, and police interference, the risk of misidentifying someone rises considerably. Last year saw a record number of exonerations, three-quarters of which centered on people who had been falsely convicted on the basis of a misidentification. Studies conducted over the last five years have shown one of every three people ID'ed as a perpetrator from a police photo lineup is an innocent "filler."

    While prosecutorial misconduct, including deliberately mishandling witnesses, is present in up to 42 percent of exoneration cases, Brown believes misidentifications are a function of poor protocol.

    "What we've seen is that the vast majority of mistaken identities is not the intention of police, but just them doing the normal procedures of the time," she said.

    Decades of sociological and psychological research suggest the way police departments have traditionally conducted photo lineups is akin to trampling through a crime scene with muddy boots on.

    "Everyone agrees that it's what happens at the front end of the criminal justice system that leads to wrongful convictions," John Furman, the director of research at the International Association of Police Chiefs (IAPC), said in an interview.


    As surely as physical evidence collected at a crime scene can be contaminated purposely or through carelessness, a witness's memory can be sullied and rendered invalid. In Miles's case, police began the process of contaminating the witnesses' already shaky memories as soon as they created the six-packs, according to advocates and experts who reviewed the case.

    The two bank employees, Trina Gomez and Max Patlan, did not have a clear recollection of the two men who held them up, according to court documents. They knew that both men were black; one of the men was short and stocky and the other slender and maybe taller. The "stocky" man was said to have a shaved head, facial hair and "rolls on the back of his neck."

    At the outset, Patlan admitted to the investigators he would not be able to identify the stocky suspect. The man had struck him on the face with the butt of a gun, pushed him to the ground, and shouted to him and Gomez to "do as they were told."

    Nevertheless, Detective Michael Montgomery, the lead investigator, presented the witnesses with a total of 48 mugshots. He told the three witnesses that the police had arrested two suspects. During the process, the witnesses picked several photos of different people, suggesting they resembled the men who robbed the bank.

    Miles's mugshot appeared in the last set. His picture shows him with close-shaven hair, a shadow of a beard, and drooping shoulders. Miles was selected by Gomez and Patlan as the "stocky" man who had waved a gun around that June night, the man Patlan had suggested he would not be able to identify.

    But when Trina Gomez took the stand at the trial a few months later, she stared at Miles sitting at the table next to his lawyer and said, not in the presence of the jury, "He looks different." Pausing, and then viewing him from another angle: "I'm sure that that's him in the photo, but I'm not sure if that's him over there."

    After a quick meeting with the prosecutors, during which she was directed to look at Miles's mugshot again, Gomez returned to the witness stand and stated for the jury, without hesitation, that Miles was the man.

    Sound reliable to you, MR? Miles was innocent of the crime, by the way. He was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 18 years. He remained in prison even after he was exonerated for a crime he never committed. He was finally released in June of this year, after being forced to strike a plea deal for a crime he was exonerated for. Is this protecting society, MR?

    Here is what the American Bar Association has to say about eyewitness testimony and later on in the article, they also provide guidelines in regards to eyewitnesses from the point of the investigation right through to the trial, in a bid to stem the tide of wrongful convictions:

    To those who follow crime and courts, the stories are familiar and unnerving. Cornelius Dupree spent 30 years imprisoned in Texas for a 1979 rape and robbery he did not commit, largely due to a single eyewitness identification. He was freed in 2011 through new DNA evidence. Derrick Williams of Florida was freed through DNA evidence after spending 18 years in prison for a rape based on eyewitness misidentification. Johnny Pinchback, a Texas inmate convicted of a 1984 rape based on eyewitness misidentification, was freed through DNA testing after 27 years in prison. Alvin Jardine was freed through DNA testing after serving 20 years jailed in Hawaii, again due to eyewitness misidentification. Of the 21 cases on the Innocence Network’s 2011 exoneration report, 19 wrongful convictions involved eyewitness testimony. Innocence Network Report, 2011. This is consistent with statistics showing that more than three-quarters of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA evidence relied on faulty eyewitness evidence.

    Even after hearing the statistics, we are reluctant to distrust a sincere eyewitness, but decades of research show that memory is neither precise nor fixed. For instance, we would expect a moment of high stress to focus the mind and sharpen recall, but the opposite is true. Violence, stress, and the presence of a weapon during an incident actually weaken memory. Racial differences between the witness and the suspect can impair identifications. Unconscious transference, or confusing someone seen in one place with someone seen in another place, is common. Identification can also be impaired by how long the witness is exposed to the suspect, the delay between the incident and the identification, and post-event information, such as feedback from the police or other witnesses.

    I am always on the victim's side MR. That does not mean I support or boast about a system that is so unreliable and has such a high error rate which results in innocent people going to prison, which places even further stress and pain on the victims, for personal gain as you are.

    Now, once again, prove all the experts wrong. You keep claiming it is reliable. Prove it with actual evidence. Studies will do.
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Like I have told you many times, the number of innocents convicted by our system is only a tiny fraction of those convicted who were guilty. Just saying, "oh look, here's a case of someone who was convicted wrongly." doesn't prove shit. You have to provide the data on the overall number of convictions that have not been overturned. Until you provide that your stats mean nothing. This sort of dishonest use of stats should itself earn you an infraction. And your whole insane thesis that eyewitness observation is unreliable was totally disproven by Yazata and I already in many other ways, including examples from real life like animal species survival, driving, and the nature of empiricle science. Just go away. You lost. But try not to be sore loser.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    I don't think a modern justice system can arrest on the testimony of one person. Or, how many it would for that matter?
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    A woman gets attacked by her husband with a knife. She reports this to the police. There are stab wounds in her back. That's one person's eyewitness testimony. I think it's enough.
  8. Bells Staff Member


    I never once said it was "bullshit", Yazata. "more often than not, wholly unreliable" does not amount to "bullshit by its nature". You applied your own personal interpretation to what I actually said and turned it into something else entire.

    You should perhaps learn to take note of what you read.. Pay particular attention to the word "often", for example. Come on, Yazata, you can do it!

    What I said, is not represented or even close to what you said. I never said it was bullshit. I literally said that it has a high tendency to be unreliable. I also provided countless of studies and recommendations from other studies and papers, which set out guidelines, many of which were also recommended by the DoJ and which have only been applied in a dozen or so States, to try to reduce the tainting of eyewitnesses. I had also provided this in the past, in discussions with MR.

    And you took that, even referred to it in your posts in this thread and turned it into my saying that it was "bullshit".

    You are like the person who sees something, then festers about it and in doing so, re-invents it and taints it with your own bias, and then believes that you are a capable witness.

    You are quintessentially the type of eyewitness that should never set foot in a courtroom to testify about what you have seen or experienced. Your absolute failure to actually properly recount what you had seen, in this case what I had written on this subject in the past, without applying your own bias and your own personal interpretation, is quite frankly astonishing, but also not unexpected, because you are proving exactly why scientists, legal scholars, lawyers, etc, have been saying for decades, that eyewitness testimony is often so unreliable and so dangerous because it sends innocent people to prison and even to the death penalty.

    You did not bother reading anything I had actually posted, did you?

    Did you pick out key words and just filled in the blanks with your own biased interpretations because you wish to defend your friend? Is that it?

    Because had you bothered to read what I had posted and linked, then you would clearly see just how your interpretation of what I had said, is not what I actually said.

    Wow, the level of trolling here is extreme.

    Go back and read what I have posted and linked. I even posted the guidelines that should always apply to eyewitness testimony and sadly is not in so many States.. Then perhaps you should walk back your ridiculous biased interpretations of what I have said.

    Is that what I said? No.

    It is not.

    I'll put it this way... I am not going to repeat myself again. Is that clear enough for you? If you wish to post in such a dishonest manner, that is entirely on you. But I have repeatedly requested that you support your earlier claims about the validity of eyewitness testimony and you are yet to do so. You also failed to respond to my correcting you about your Court of Appeals system, when you erroneously attempted to argue that these cases even get through that, while failing to acknowledge that the Court of Appeals in California, for example, look at judicial errors and not evidence or eyewitness testimony provided during the original trial.

    Instead, you just kept attributing things to me, that I never actually said. If you wish clarification, go back and actually read the words I posted and read the many many links I posted in this thread alone, instead of asking for something that has already been clarified repeatedly.

    Read the links provided.

    You are the one claiming that eyewitness testimony is reliable, MR. You need to prove that.

    See, your continued demand for evidence while failing to provide anything at all to support your claims is tantamount to trolling.
    And unless you provide evidence about the reliability of eyewitness testimony or evidence since you keep claiming it is reliable, then every single one of your claims about eyewitness testimony will be rejected. That means the threads you start and post in with anecdotal eyewitness evidence that lacks any critical analysis will be going directly against the instructions and advice and warnings you received by admin.

    So back up your claims that eyewitness testimony and evidence is reliable, or withdraw those claims. This is no longer a polite request, MR. Stop trolling.

    So you are saying countless of scientists, legal scholars, judges, lawyers, psychologists, the American Bar Association, the DoJ, etc, have come up with an "insane thesis that eyewitness" testimony is unreliable, because you and your buddy Yazata say so?


    Now prove it with actual evidence instead of vague stories. Scientific studies and/or journals will suffice.

    You have 24 hours to do so. If you fail to do so, then I will moderate you.
    exchemist likes this.
  9. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    A woman gets raped... I think investigators wouldn't want her to shower as it could wash away DNA evidence.
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    LOL! Threats to ban me again. This is how moderators try to win arguments. It's their way of getting the last word. As if that somehow means they won the debate. Are you lurkers watching this?

    "Appropriate supporting evidence or explanations should be posted together with any opinion, especially on contentious issues."

    It's right there in black and white. Supporting evidence OR explanations, which I have all provided in this debate. There are simply no grounds for banning me.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  11. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    You can always try apologizing ?
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I'm not an asskisser.

    What must I apologize for?
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Why did you leave out the rest of the paragraph you got that quote from, MR?

    Here is the rest, that you conveniently left out..

    Sciforums is not your personal blog, and should not be used to promote your unsupported opinions.
    And here it is in its proper context, in full:

    E13. Appropriate supporting evidence or explanations should be posted together with any opinion, especially on contentious issues. Sciforums is not your personal blog, and should not be used to promote your unsupported opinions.​

    Isn't it amazing how it reads when one does not post little snippets out of context?

    You should also pay particular attention to the following, also:

    E15. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. If you’re claiming that Einstein was wrong, or that evolution does not occur, or that aliens are visiting Earth, be prepared to provide strong evidence in defence of your argument. If you only have an opinion, avoid posting on topics such as these.

    [Site Rules]​

    Where did I threaten to "ban" you?

    The request is not exactly hard, MR.

    Google, Google Scholar and various other search engines make these things quite easy.
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    That human perception and memory are reliable is not an extraordinary claim. In fact it's a rather ordinary one. Everybody on earth uses it successfully everyday. It's totally reliable.

    You said you were going to moderate me.

    I have looked. The role of eyewitness testimony is so important and relied on so continuously in the justice system there are no studies to show it being reliable. They simply don't need them. Sure there is a flood of studies showing it is sometimes flawed. It's something of an internet meme right now. But none of those studies provide the overall number of cases eyewitnesses have gotten it right. It's like if someone wanted to prove that all car drivers are unreliable because there are thousands of auto accidents everyday. Really? Out of how many cases of no auto accidents happening? Without this data, the claim is useless and obviously wrong. Drivers are overwhelmingly reliable to successfully drive their cars without accidents from one place to another. It happens tens of millions of times everyday. Likewise, it is intellectually dishonest to cite studies that only look at the number of eyewitness cases overturned. 178 cases? Well is that alot or a few? We don't know because we can't compare it the number of eyewitness cases NOT overturned.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  15. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    I don't know. Being in a bad mood?
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Is that a bannable offense too now?
  17. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Do you feel the whole world is against you or something?
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Why do you ask?
  19. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Because I think you're being irrational.
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Think what you want. It's a free country.

    Will being "irrational" get me banned too?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Isn't quoting a member's posts cutting and pasting too? Ooops!
  22. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Well, I don't feel I have to apologize if what I said I believe to be true.
  23. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    If you want to be technical, it (quoting a post within the same thread) isn't cutting and pasting. The system is doing the linking itself, rather than the member - all they have to do is click the "quote" button.

    EDIT - Edited above to make the distinction clear, though realistically it should have been clear to any rational person. Sad that such pedantry is necessary...

    Lurkers, do please pay attention - yes, there are rules on these forums, and yes, you are expected to adhere to them if you sign up. If that is somehow a dealbreaker for you, then truth be told, you probably aren't the type of member we are looking for anyway.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

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