Articles > Validating or Impeaching Eyewitness Testimony

Validating or Impeaching Eyewitness Testimony


Eyewitnesses can make or break your case. However, eyewitnesses are notoriously undependable at times. Remember the movie Twelve Angry Men? A not guilty verdict was returned mostly on the strength of Henry Fonda single-handedly impeaching the testimony of two eyewitnesses: the woman with poor eyesight and the man with the slow, limping gait. A demonstrative exhibit was featured prominently in that picture to prove an important point.

Today, you have more sophisticated means and methods at your disposal. Depending on what you have to work with, eyewitness testimony can be validated or destroyed by the tactical use of demonstrative exhibits. The usefulness of exhibits for this purpose transcends all areas of litigation in which eyewitness accounts or identification can be critical: personal injury, sexual harassment, wrongful death, etc. Following are some examples of the tactical use of demonstrative exhibits to impeach eyewitness testimony in criminal cases.

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