WHAT HAPPENED: Adam Braseel was convicted and has been serving time for the murder of Malcom Burrows. The only evidence against him is eyewitness testimony, the color of his hair and a ball cap he wore. While there is no DNA evidence and he has an alibi, rumors of a family vendetta against Burrows were a topic of town gossip. Braseel continues to claim his innocence and is seeking an appeal.
WHY IT MATTERS: Eyewitness testimony, once the hallmark of a successful court case, has come under scrutiny as DNA evidence and increased knowledge of how the human mind processes information are becoming more widespread. Police work and assumption has also come under fire lately in cases like that of Steven Avery. In this case, the one red-headed person in a small town may not be guilty of a crime, despite being the first and only person who comes to mind. How highly the court system values eyewitness testimony is an important topic that the legal system is grappling with.
WHO REPORTED IT: The Knoxville News Sentinel