The Champion

June 2011 , Page 22 

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Street Crimes, Stress, And Suggestion: Helping The Jury See What The Witness Did Not

By Jonathan Rapping

Agnes Foster is a petite 60-year-old African American woman. A lifelong New York resident, she is a domestic worker, who starts her day at 6:00 a.m. and returns home at 8:00 p.m., walking two blocks to catch a bus to and from work. Having followed this routine year-round for the last 30 years, she could make the trip blindfolded.  

On Feb. 1, 2010, having just finished work, Foster stepped off the bus and began her trek home. The sun had already gone down and the street lights were lit. It was a cold night and she walked briskly to get out of the frigid air. As she approached the front of her apartment, she heard the sound of footsteps behind her, moving quickly in her direction. As they closed in on her, she became nervous. Although there was a streetlight in front of her apartment building, it had not worked for the last week. Suddenly, she heard a loud voice coming from only two feet away: “Give me your money or give up your life!” Instinctively, Foster turned. The first thing she sa

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