Eyewitness Incentives

Words: 626
Pages: 3

The question being debated is the question of whether or not there should be incentives for eyewitnesses in criminal cases. The role of a witness is to help clarify the events that have occurred and to tell the judge everything that they know about the case. Eyewitnesses are self- proclaimed, meaning that no one is able to force an individual to share information on a specific case. Rather, the individual volunteers to share their knowledge of the event with the legal system, making them an eyewitness. There should not be incentives for eyewitnesses for many different reasons. Specifically, incentives cause individuals to testify false information and also, incentives shift the purpose of an eye witness from assisting in clarifying the events that …show more content…
Every individual who does choose to testify and share their knowledge of the events that have occurred, as an eye witness, knows beforehand that they will receive compensation for their time and efforts at the end of the process. For many people, this alone is a huge incentive to testify false information that is made-up, testify on an event they know little about, or even to testify on an event that they didn’t actually personally see. These false testimonies and the unsure information they produce are what put innocent people in jail. In some circumstances, people are in such desperate need of money and see testifying as an eye witness in a court case as a way to earn a little extra cash. These people are then willing to say whatever is necessary to make it seem as though they truly know the details of the events that have occurred, when really, they may know hardly anything at all. Having an incentive for self-proclaimed eyewitnesses causes people to testify false or fake information for the sole purpose of receiving the compensation in the end. Incentives for eyewitnesses are very bad and should be immediately removed from our legal