During the 1970s and 1980s, U.S. politicians at the federal and state level took action to pass harsh drug laws that called for mandatory minimum sentences for even minor offenses. In the years that followed, incarceration rates throughout the U.S. skyrocketed leading to the widespread overcrowding of prisons and jails and billions of dollars in increased government and tax spending.
Anyone who has ever been involved in an accident or witnessed a crime may have been asked to describe what happened as well as who or what they saw. Unfortunately, the human brain is remarkably inaccurate at capturing and retaining information and details that may be helpful in these types of situations. This appears to be especially true with regard to eyewitnesses to crimes as "eyewitness misidentification was a factor in more than 70 percent of post-conviction DNA exoneration cases."