Proof of recognition by people produced ex novo during trial hearing: reliability and impact in uncovering material truth | 2015

Author(s) Liliana Carina Barreiro Faria
Advisor(s) Mário João Ferreira Monte
Year 2015

Synopsis Proof of recognition by people, under article 147º of the Penal Procedure Code, is a common means to provide a proof based on the demonstration of a certain reality, through the act of identification by the passive subject, whom shall identify, or not, a suspect as the perpetrator of a criminal offense. It is indelible that, as means of proof, it is surrounded by several weaknesses, especially because it can be produced during trial hearing, meaning, it can be produced 12 months after the criminal offense by the active subject was witnessed. Weaknesses which, in fact, are regarded in teachings, jurisprudence and even by extra-legal sciences like Psychology – science which has dedicated itself, in a somewhat exhaustive manner, to the study of recognitions and eyewitness testimonies. It provided valuable help on the current dissertation, chiefly on the study of memory and the conclusion that, having passed such an amount of time, the recognition by people may not be reliable and, therefore, may present a negative impact in uncovering material truth. Their production on the preliminary stages of the criminal procedure, during a moment closest possible to the happening of the criminal offense, may notwithstanding present less fallibility motives, needs, however, to be improved, adapting their legal formalisms to the conclusions of Psychology studies. Thus, despite related talks of “demanding formalism”, it is still far from being demanding enough. Bearing in mind that it is a possible lethal means of proof to the recognized, much is still there to be done.

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