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NCJ Number: 136687 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Practitioner's Guide to Dog Scent Lineups
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:28  Issue:3  Dated:(May-June 1992)  Pages:218-245
Author(s): A E Taslitz
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
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United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In this article, the author challenges judicial deference toward the use of "dog scent lineups."
Abstract: In such lineups, a dog sniffs an object found at a crime scene and then sniffs a line of suspects (or objects touched by suspects). If the dog "alerts" to a particular suspect, that alert is admitted as substantive evidence that the suspect committed the crime. The author argues that a mythic belief in the infallibility of canine scenting, and the refusal of courts to examine the science underlying such scenting, result in convictions based more on superstition than on reason. The author reviews the scientific bases for dog scent lineups, concluding that there is inadequate scientific support for trusting canine behavior in scent lineups. That review of the scientific data also raises concerns about the value of other types of dog scenting evidence, such as tracking and narcotics detection. The author places this experimental data in the context of standard evidentiary doctrines governing scientific evidence, offering the practitioner guidelines for seeking to exclude scent lineups from criminal trials (and, correspondingly, for prosecutors to improve lineup fairness), or, failing in that endeavor, for more effectively cross-examining scent lineup "experts." (Author abstract)
Main Term(s): Line-up; Police dogs
Index Term(s): Suspect identification
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