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NCJ Number: 159552 Find in a Library
Title: Biased Lineups: Where Do They Come From? (From Adult Eyewitness Testimony: Current Trends and Developments, P 182-200, 1994, David Frank Ross, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-159543)
Author(s): R C L Lindsay
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Cambridge University Press
New York, NY 10011-4211
Sale Source: Cambridge University Press
Journal Division
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011-4211
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Over the past two decades, eyewitness researchers have staged crimes to investigate the impact of biased lineup procedures on eyewitness identification accuracy and the results have been remarkably consistent; biased lineups dramatically increase the rate of false identifications of innocent people but have little effect on the rate of correct identifications.
Abstract: The issue naturally arises as to why police use biased lineups, and possible reasons include ignorance, sloppiness, and deliberate intent. Experiments demonstrate that, when asked to construct lineups, people with no special training or knowledge of eyewitness issues select foils similar in appearance to the suspect. Concerns about fairness to the witness and fairness to the accused may not alter the tendency to select foils similar to the suspect. Untrained lineup constructors who know that the suspect is guilty select foils similar to the suspect, while dissimilar foils are selected for lineups only when the lineup constructor is explicitly attempting to create a lineup that will lead witnesses to identify the suspect. These findings indicate that highly biased lineups are the product of intentional police misconduct. It is never appropriate for police officers to decide that no doubt exists in a case, and biased lineups are never acceptable. 17 references
Main Term(s): Police misconduct
Index Term(s): Court research; Criminology; Evidence; Eyewitness memory; Eyewitness testimony; Facial Recognition/Recall; Line-up; Police policies and procedures; Police research; Rights of the accused; Statistics; Suspect identification; Witness credibility
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