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The legal system depends upon memory function in a number of critical ways, including the memories of victims, the memories of individuals who witness crimes or other critical events, the memories of investigators, lawyers, and judges engaged in the legal process, and the memories of jurors.
How well memory works, how accurate it is, how it is affected by various aspects of the criminal justice system -- these are all important questions. But there are others as well: Can we tell when someone is reporting an accurate memory? Can we distinguish a true memory from a false one? Can memories be selectively enhanced, or erased? Are memories altered by emotion, by stress, by drugs?
These questions and more are addressed by Memory and Law, which aims to present the current state of knowledge among cognitive and neural scientists about memory as applied to the law.