Louisiana criminal defense: Eyewitness testimony not always accurate

News reports of a purported crime often show how little information police have to solve a particular case. The information provided to them usually comes from victims and sometimes other witnesses. When the only witnesses are also the victims of the crime, their recollections may be affected by the stress they were under at the time of the incident, particularly if it was a robbery or violent crime. Those details provided to police typically play an important part in a criminal defense on behalf of someone subsequently charged with a crime.

Recently, two women were reportedly robbed when they left work one night in Iberia Parish. The incident took place outside a lounge along U.S. 90. The assailant, who was described as a black man, was said to have mugged the women outside the lounge. The scant identifying information released by Louisiana authorities indicated the man was wearing a bandana which covered his face and head. He was also said to have been wearing a T-shirt, which was not further described.

The women were reportedly robbed of their cellphones and their pocket books. There is no indication that they were injured. Police have requested that the public come forward with any information that might help authorities in their investigation and provided a phone number for that purpose.

Robbery and violent crime continue to be problems in modern society, perhaps even more so during hard economic times. Nevertheless, each individual accused of a crime in Louisiana is afforded the right to the presumption of innocence. This important legal right is designed to ensure that all accused individuals are fairly treated and afforded the opportunity to present a meaningful and vigorous criminal defense. Eyewitness testimony, particularly that of crime victims, has not always proven accurate in court. Any suspect ultimately charged with a crime arising from this incident would do well to focus their attention on the specifics of the information first provided to law enforcement authorities while seeking to safeguard all of their legal rights.

Source: katc.com, "Deputies: Women Robbed While Leaving Work," Oct. 17, 2012

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