7 March 2018

Innocent suspects rarely have a credible alibi

Innocent suspects are expected to prove their innocence by providing a credible alibi. Research by legal psychologist Ricardo Nieuwkamp shows that only 2% of all non-offenders are able to do so. Although detectives only find an alibi credible if it remains unchanged and it is supported by strong evidence, such as camera images, the alibi of non-offenders is usually supported by weaker evidence, such as a family member’s witness testimony. Non-offenders may also make a mistake or lie to cover up being with a mistress, for instance. On 7 March, Ricardo Nieuwkamp defends his dissertation at Maastricht University.