Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.99
  • Save: $7.15 (33%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Witness for the Defense: ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Normal wear and age visible around the edges, otherwise still a nice reading copy! Light amounts of highlighting
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Witness for the Defense: The Accused, the Eyewitness and the Expert Who Puts Memory on Trial Paperback – July 15, 1992


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Tankobon Hardcover
"Please retry"
$25.09
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.84
$10.43 $2.23

Speak Now by Kenji Yoshino
Speak Now by Kenji Yoshino
A nuanced and authoritative account of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the trial that will stand as the most potent argument for marriage equality. Learn more | See related books
$14.84 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Witness for the Defense: The Accused, the Eyewitness and the Expert Who Puts Memory on Trial + Eyewitness Testimony: With a new preface by the author + The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse
Price for all three: $56.75

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Witness for the Defense is an important book. (The New York Times)

An intriguing and disturbing work in which forensic psychologist Loftus, a specialist on memory, examines the fallibility of eyewitness testimony in criminal cases . . . A fascinating examination of human memory, with troubling implications for the American criminal-justice system. (Kirkus Reviews)

Highly recommended for the general public and scholars interested in whether justice is served in the criminal justice system. (Library Journal)

About the Author

Elizabeth Loftus is a professor of psychology and adjunct professor of law at the University of Washington in Seattle. For more than 20 years, she has conducted extensive research in the areas of human memory, eyewitness testimony and courtroom procedure. Loftus has served as an expert witness and consultant in hundreds of cases, including the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler case, the Michael Jackson case, the trial of Oliver North, and the trial of the Menendez brothers and has also worked on numerous cases involving allegations of "repressed memories." She has published over 250 journal articles and 18 books, including Eyewitness Testimony, which won the American Psychological Association's National Media Award in 1980, and most recently, The Myth of Repressed Memory. In 1983, she was invited to present her work to the Royal Society of London. Loftus has served as president of the Western Psychological Association in 1984 and has fulfilled leadership roles in numerous other organizations such as the American Psychological Association, Society of Experimental Psychologists, American Psychological Society, and Psychonomic Society.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (July 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312084552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312084554
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bucherwurm on May 3, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many people think that we store our past visual experiences as intact images in the brain. Research, however, shows that this concept is not accurate. The visual recollection of an event has to be recreated by assembling bits and pieces of memory into a whole picture. Our recollection of events is thus often distorted. A variety of psychological experiments have been conducted that demonstrate this phenomenon. Subjects shown a picture of an office later, when asked to recall the photograph, put items such as bookcases or a calendar in the scene that were not actually there. Other aspects of the office are forgotten.
Elizabeth Loftus, an internationally known expert on memory, applies research and her experience to the topic of eye witness testimony in the legal setting. The book attempts to be both entertaining in its often informal presentation of case histories, and modestly academic in presenting psychological theory and research. The case histories for the most part describe trials in which eyewitness testimony resulted in the conviction of an innocent person. Loftus shows how inaccurate recollections combined with inappropriate police photo and lineup presentations can cause a witness to create false recollections. As a side note the book also shows how fallible juries can be. All in all this book provides further proof that eyewitness testimony is not superior to circumstantial evidence.
My only criticism of this book should probably be directed toward the co-author. This book is oriented toward the general public, and the case descriptions are often fluffed to create the "true crime" approach used by writers in that genre.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth F. Loftus is an American psychologist and expert on human memory, and is currently a professor at UC Irvine. She has conducted extensive research on the misinformation effect and the nature of false memories (see her books, Memory and The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse).

Coauthor Katherine Ketcham stated in the "Author's Note" of this 1991 book, "[This] is a collection of true stories based on Dr. Elizabeth Loftus's personal experiences as an expert witness. It is our goal to use these real-life courtroom dramas as a vehicle for conveying information about psychology in general and memory in particular... Although we have struggled to correct obvious biases and base our accounts on the known and undisputed facts, it is unavoidable that these retrospective interpretations contain memory flaws. We know all too well from the psychological research and the experience of writing this book that memory is not always the same thing as the truth." (Pg. xiii-xiv)

Loftus notes, "In my studies, a subject's reported confidence for suggested or imagined memories is often as great as that reported for memories based on actual perceptions... subtle differences do exist between perceived and suggested memories, but ... most people are unable to detect these differences. In other words, when people remember something, they tend to believe it's the truth. And when they describe their memories, their reports can be so realistic and detailed that someone listening (like a juror) tends to think that the memory is, in fact, real." (Pg.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, Loftus recounts some fascinating true crime cases in which she was called to give testimony regarding the unreliability of eyewitness identifications. Loftus is a research psychologist who participated in a lot of studies demonstrating how easily people's memories can be influenced. She also is known for the work she has done demonstrating how memories can be implanted wholesale in adults or children, as happened in the McMartin pre-school case.

Loftus does give some illustrations of how police can contaminate witness accounts, but I wish she had gone into even more detail about the studies she has conducted showing how this can happen, and about the advice she gives to police officers on how to avoid such undue influence. Perhaps though more detail on this score would have made the book too long. There is a bibliography provided to fill in some of these gaps.

Here the author concentrates more on the circumstances of the crimes themselves. As it turned out, she didn't always work on the side of the "good guys." She tells about testifying for Ted Bundy's defense. Thinking back, she remembers disliking how Bundy smiled at the prosecutor, something an innocent man doesn't ordinarily do. A few scattered comments such as that might make the reader wonder if Loftus' memory might itself be showing the kind of after-the-fact malleability that she saw it as her role to remind juries to take into consideration. Did she really suspect Bundy at the time?

In several of the cases Loftus recounts, there have been interesting reversals since this 1991 book was published. Some of the other individuals for whose defense she testified, also later appeared to be guilty.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews