In Chapter 3 of Mistakes Were Made, Tavris and Aronson state that “Because member is reconstructive, it is subject to confabulation–confusing an event that happened to someone else with one that happened to you, or coming to believe that you remember something that never happened at all. In reconstructing a memory people draw on many sources” (73).
Our memory is very good at making us feel good about bad things that we have done, helping us to reconstruct memories of the distant past by synthesizing what others have said, and shaping our memories to fit the narrative we have in our head.
When we consider the criminal justice system’s heavy reliance on witness testimony, how much weight should the testimony hold? Should witness testimony be allowed in the appeals process when people maybe recalling memories of events that happened 5, 10, or even 15 years prior? What if the appeal is primarily reliant on witness testimony as was the original trial because there was not a lot of other evidence?
2. The purpose of this forum is to begin to think about and make connections between human and social psychology and the justice system. You have done some of this already in your essays. Take it a step further here, try to deepen the discussions by adding in what you learned about our memories in Ch 3 of Mistakes Were Made.
3. Respond to the ideas in CH3 and the questions above. Think about what the implications of this brain and memory science have on the way our justice system works as you know it and as you have read about in The New Jim Crow.
*Source: New jim crow-chapter3
*300words. No outside sources. Send it by 7/3 4pm.
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