Read Orby Dobbins – Eyewitness Testimony for the Prosecution called during the 2nd set of Scottsboro trials (Alabama v. Haywood Patterson in 1933).
Write a 1-2 page essay analyzing the reliability of Dobbins’s eye witness testimony from the second Scottsboro trial after the Powell Court reversed and
remanded the convictions. In your analysis, apply at least 3 specific system or estimator variables as outlined by the NAS Report or the Henderson opinion to
attack any potential weaknesses you find in Dobbins’s testimony regarding what he saw on the day the alleged rapes occurred. Please utilize the IRAC (IssueRule-Analysis-Conclusion) methodology for each of the 3 variables you select.
In 1933, Orby Dobbins provided eye witness testimony for the prosecution during the second Scottsboro trial of Haywood Patterson. In analyzing the reliability of his testimony, several system and estimator variables as outlined by both the NAS Report and Henderson opinion should be taken into account . One such variable is that of stress , which can negatively affect an individual’s memory in terms of accuracy and completeness (NAS, 2017).
< br>Issue : Does stress have a negative impact on accuracy and completeness of memory?
Rule: It has long been established that when someone experiences heightened levels of stress it can impair their ability to recall information accurately or completely (NAS,2017)
< br > Analysis: At the time Dobbins gave his testimony he was likely under some degree of duress as this was a high profile case with regards to racial injustice. Additionally , considering he had no prior relationship with any individuals involved in this trial it is likely that he felt even more pressure to provide accurate information while testifying.
< br >Conclusion : Therefore , based on these considerations it can be concluded that due to elevated levels of stress Dobbins may have been unable to recall all details from what he witnessed on the day in question which could adversely affect its validity .
Another relevant factor when examining Dobbins’s eye witness testimony involves cross-racial identification bias . This phenomenon occurs when people are less accurate at recognizing faces from another race than those within their own (Henderson et al., 2019).
< br>Issue: Is cross-racial recognition bias a factor ? < br >< br >Rule : Studies indicate that people tend to be less accurate at recognizing faces from other races compared to those belonging within their own (Henderson et al.,2019 ). < br >< br >Analysis: At issue here is whether or not cross-racial identification bias played a role in how accurately Dobbins was able identify anyone present amongst the group accused since they were African American while he belonged to White race.
Conclusion : Thus , given evidence indicating poorer recognition abilities amongst different races it is possible that there may have been some degree error associated with his identification process which could potentially lead one question its reliability.
< Br > Issue : Is inconsistency between multiple accounts indicative lack credibility ?< Br >< Br >Rule: If witness offers differing versions about certain events then this raises doubts about veracity (NAS,2017 ). < Br >< Br>Analysis : During his initial statements before court , Dobbin’s described having seen two fights occurring simultaneously but later changed his story saying there was only one altercation taking place. This discrepancy between two separate narratives implies inconsistencies which could call into question truthfulness regarding overall account provided by him.
Conclusion: Therefore based upon difference between original and revised recollections presented by Dobbin’s it appears as though there might be reasons for doubt concerning veracity behind what occurred during incident being discussed herein.