Breaking the Set: How to create false testimony


A fascinating bit of research from UC Irvine hints at yet another way in which the intersection of our lifestyles — including overwork and lack of sleep — may lead to unwittingly false eyewitness testimony that could send the innocent to jail.

While most of us tend to think that memory is like a replay of a digitally record video, in fact a considerable body of research has demonstrated that most memories are in fact creative reconstructions and susceptible to tweaking and suggestion.

In this segment from Breaking the Set, Abby Martin and a UC Irvine researcher discuss the implications of new research on memory for the criminal justice system.

From Breaking the Set:

How Lack of Sleep Could Put Innocent People in Jail

Program notes:

Abby Martin speaks with Steven Frenda, doctoral candidate at UC Irvine and lead researcher in a recent study linking lack of sleep with the creation of false memories, and discussing how this may also be a social justice issue.

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One response to “Breaking the Set: How to create false testimony

  1. Yes having little sleep might help to create false testimony,

    but also being an illegal, not being able to speak or understand English fluently or clearly might help to create false testimony.

    And just the fact of being an illegal worker, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, with video footage that can easily be transformed into a charge of aiding and abetting murder, could easily create a false witness and false testimony against another in exchange for immunity from prosecution and a US residency,

    A false witness is given an awful lot of support from their peers if they are working for the Government,

    And an ordinary false witness can be created if the jury or judge is rooting for, or happens to believe them.

    Unfortunately lack of sleep is only a minuscule part of the cause of false testimony and false witnesses in California.

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