Traditional police line-ups don't work, only 25% get it right.

Traditional police line-ups don't work, only 25% get it right.

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Thread: Traditional police line-ups don't work, only 25% get it right.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Traditional police line-ups don't work, only 25% get it right.

    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    I wonder. Will there be resistance to this if its found to lower conviction rates?

    Michael

  3. #3
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    This is old news, the "TV style" line up has been long gone in many, if not most, areas for a long time now.
    Secret Spuk and 64zebra like this.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    The linked story is balderdash! As Sixto said... This is old news. Any investigator worth is own salt will tell you that Eye witness evidence is the least reliable, and easily impeached. But something called a corporial I/D is absoloutly nessicary in may cases.

    This is usually done in one of four ways.

    1) A prompt on the scene show up. This is when the subject is found near the scene, Very soon afer the crime, the subject absoloutly fits the description and the victim is allowed to view him alone in police custody. This MUST be done very soon after the crime was commited. Also requires some further investigation to substantiate the identification.
    2) A photo array. An identification in a photo array isnt admissible in court as a corporial ID unless the victim and the subject are well known to each other. However a photo array is admissable as probably cause to obtain a subpoens to force the subject to stand in a full line up.
    3) A one on one ID. This is admissible when the witness, and the subject are well known to each other.
    4) A full line up when properly done is a very acceptable method of ID. Contrary to the artical a line up focus on one person the subject. It is a yes or no ID. If the witness picks out someone other than the subject, that person does not come ubder suspicion. It just means the subject was NOT identified. The line up consists of the subject, and a minimum of five fill-in's. All made to look as similar as the subject as possible. The subjects attorney is always afforded the opertunity to be present as the witness views the line up.

  5. #5
    Member Array Pioneer's Avatar
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    I was a cop for 30 years, most of those years as a major crime detective. I have never conducted a live line-up, as those shown on Tee-Vee. All of my police experience has been on the West Coast, from San Diego to Portland, Oregon. (Police work is different in different parts of the country.)

    For several years we relied upon glossy photographs (mug shots) of five people selected from the archives, and our suspected bad guy. Using old school technology, the photos would be arranged using a file folder with six "windows" pre cut to the exact same size, in which the photos were glued, or taped. With the advent of digital photography and computerized programs, the line-ups became much easier and faster.

    The local courts and prosecutors have very strict guidelines for conducting such lineups, what an investigator may, and may not say to the witness. The viewing had to be done in private, and the investigator may not in any way drop a hint as to who he suspects. Extreme care had to be taken to make sure that all of the faces shown are of the same race, same hair and eye color. If your suspect wears glasses, they must all wear glasses of a similar style. The background of the photo must be free of any indication of incarceration, such as booking numbers, height markings, and be of the same color. In short, there must be no indication on the photos that makes one person stand-out. In order to check ourselves, we would show the photo line up (called a Six Pack) to another officer not involved in the case, or to a non-sworn employee such as records clerk, secretary, etc, and ask them to pick out the suspect. Each and every line-up became evidence, even those where the suspected perp was not chosen. Showing a witness a series of photo line-ups until they "get it right" is forbidden. They get one crack at it. No matter who they point out, you have the witness circle the photo with a pen and sign their name to it. Investigators may not tell the witness they "got it right," or picked the "right" guy / gal. This whole process will be discussed later in front of a jury, and defense attorneys work very very hard to blow holes in the identification.

    As stated before, many times witnesses fail to choose any of the photos, but that does not necessarily eliminate your primary suspect from prosecution. You just have to work a bit harder to get other evidence and a confession. That is often where interrogation technique comes into play.

    A funny story: I was conducting a photo line-up once in a rape case, where the witness / victim did not identify the guy who I suspected. She chose another guy. I asked her, are you sure? She was adamant, that is the guy. She was VERY adamant! OK, fine. I found the guy she picked and interviewed him. I got a confession, backed up by DNA evidence. I always wondered what the odds were of a random photo being the actual perpetrator.

    This is what our photo line-ups looked like. I put these together about a week before I retired. They have nothing to do with any case then under investigation, and violate many of the rules outlined above. I keep them beside the door in my gun room, to remind me why I must always be armed. They have served their time and are still among us, as far as I know. Each one is a violent felon who I sent to prison. Identifying data has been removed, to "protect the innocent." (Ignore the "official use only" thing. )

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array sdprof's Avatar
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    There was a similar study reported in the last month or so about the photo arrays. Again, the point was to present one picture at a time so the witness compares the image to their memory, rather than trying to pick the one out of a bunch that best matches.
    ~~~~~
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    You mean the CSI shows lie? They don't get a full confession every time????? I may lose my faith in TV and politicians!

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