In his prime, O.J. Simpson was 6'2" (188 cm), and although he's probably a bit shorter now at 65 years old, he is still considerably taller than average yet the witness stand in covers most of his body (in front and left side up to his mid-chest level and on his right side, facing the Judge, up to the level of his shoulder). The structure and exact dimensions of witness stands varies somewhat throughout the U.S. and of course in other countries. It would behoove the legal system to construct witness stands such that they afford a 360 degree unobstructed view of anyone who testifies.
There is a substantial increase in the ability of a witness (or anyone) to tell a convincing lie the more he/she is covered - as is O.J.. However if those bearing witness were even considering telling a lie, they would be much less likely to attempt to do so if the witness stand offered an unencumbered view of them. Moreover the juries (whom almost never have had any nonverbal communication training) are much more likely to detect perjury if they had such a clear view of the witness.
What if O.J. were a 5'1" (155 cm) woman? Even accounting for height adjustment on a chair, we would see even less of such a witness.
In this brief video segment, O.J. Simpson's hands are visible only once. If most of his statements were true we should see his hands making such "illustrators" more often. Moreover we miss valuable information (again, even from the untrained observer's point of view) when we cannot see what the witnesses hands are doing at other times. A complete view of the entire individual would best engender honesty in court room. This is a scientific certainty - so why then is it not standard practice?
What other signals of deception and/or anxiety do you see in this video?
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