The Wrongful Conviction of Steve Titus 1981

The Wrongful Conviction of Steve Titus 1981

Seven Dimensions
Updated Nov 13, 2019

Dr Elizabeth Loftus explains what false memories are, and how people can cling to them, despite evidence to the contrary. 

Course Overview 

Dr Elizabeth Loftus tells Eve Ash that false memories can be distortions of an event, or an entire event that didn’t happen. False memories can be planted, through suggestions, verbal cues, leading questions or coaching. Memories are not the same as video or audio recordings. Surveys done by Dr Loftus on memory show that people cling to false memories even when scientific evidence dispels them. 

Key Learning Points 

Steve Titus was convicted and jailed for rape, despite his innocence pleas: 

• The victim tentatively identified his photo 

• Her confidence had increased by the trial (possibly because she’d been given positive feedback or had been “cued”) 

• Despite the case later being overturned, Titus was traumatized and died of a heart attack when suing for wrongful conviction 

Interviewer: Eve Ash 

Interviewee: Elizabeth Loftus