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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50868 Find in a Library
Title: USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFICATION
Journal: CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW  Dated:(JUNE 1978)  Pages:343-350
Author(s): D F LIBLING
Corporate Author: Sweet and Maxwell
Marketing Director
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Sweet and Maxwell
London, NW3 3PF, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE NONPREJUDICIIAL USE OF PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE IN ENGLISH COURTS AND THE ADMISSIBILITY OF PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION EVIDENCE ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: IT IS SUBMITTED THAT ENGLISH LAW IS SUMMARIZED CORRECTLY AS FOLLOWS WITH REGARD TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION EVIDENCE: (1) THE COURT MAY NOT USE, AS ITS PRIMARY EVIDENCE, THE FACT THAT THE ACCUSED WAS IDENTIFIED AS THE OFFENDER BY ANY PERSON, WHETHER A WITNESS OR NOT, BY REFERENCE TO PHOTOGRAPHS; AND (2) PHOTOGRAPHS AND THE EVIDENCE OF IDENTIFICATION BY PHOTOGRAPHS MAY BECOME ADMISSIBLE THROUGH THE DISCRETION OF THE TRIAL JUDGE BY VIRTUE OF THE COURSE OF THE DEFENSE OR CERTAIN QUESTIONS ASKED OF WITNESSES BY DEFENSE COUNSEL. THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS PRIOR TO THE TRIAL IS DISCOURAGED BY THE LAW. PHOTOGRAPHS, HOWEVER, CAN SERVE A USEFUL FUNCTION IN THE DETECTION OF CRIME. THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS IS PROPER ONLY IF THEY ARE DESIGNED TO GIVE DIRECTION TO POLICE INVESTIGATION AND NOT TO CONFIRM A PARTICULAR DIRECTION. RULES RELATING TO THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS ARE DESIGNED TO PROTECT THE ACCUSED AND NOT TO CONTROL THE BEHAVIOR OF POLICE OFFICERS. WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE TO USE PHOTOGRAPHS, PREJUDICE AGAINST THE ACCUSED SHOULD BE MINIMIZED. PHOTOGRAPHS, IF ENTERED IN EVIDENCE, MUST NOT REVEAL OR IMPLY THAT THE ACCUSED HAS HAD PRIOR CONVICTIONS. WHEN EVIDENCE IS PRESENTED THAT THE ACCUSED WAS IDENTIFIED BY PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE POLICE, IT IS PROPER FOR THE TRIAL JUDGE TO WARN JURORS THAT THEY MUST NOT INFER THAT THE ACCUSED HAS PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS. SUPPORTING CASE LAW IS CITED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): England; Evidence; Photography; Rules of evidence; Suspect identification
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50868

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