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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51095 Find in a Library
Title: BLANK LINE-UP - AN AID TO THE DEFENSE
Journal: CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN  Volume:14  Issue:5  Dated:(SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:428-432
Author(s): G D LEFCOURT
Corporate Author: Warren, Gorham and Lamont, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Warren, Gorham and Lamont, Inc
Boston, MA 02111
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PROCEDURE WHICH ALLOWS AN EYEWITNESS TO VIEW TWO LINE-UPS WITH THE SUSPECT APPEARING IN ONLY ONE AS A MEANS OF REDUCING THE THREAT OF MISIDENTIFICATION IS REVIEWED.
Abstract: THE BLANK LINE-UP IS ENCOURAGED BY THE COURTS PROSECUTORS, DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, COMMENTATORS, AND POLICE OFFICERS TO PROTECT SOCIETY FROM CONTINUING PROCEDURES WHICH MAY LEAD TO THE PROSECUTION OF AN INNOCENT PERSON. IT HAS BEEN STATED THAT THE BLANK LINE-UP IS A MINIMUM FAIRNESS REQUIREMENT AFTER PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. THE PROCEDURE INVOLVES THE VIEWING OF TWO SEPARATE LINE-UPS BEFORE WHICH THE WITNESS IS TOLD THAT THE SUSPECT MAY OR MAY NOT APPEAR IN THE OBSERVATION ROOM. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY ENTAIL DIFFERENT LINE-UPS TOTALLY; ONLY THREE OR FOUR EXTRA STAND-INS NEED TO BE USED TO AVOID INCONVENIENCE. TWO COURT CASES RELEVANT TO THE PROCEDURAL USE OF BLANK LINE-UPS ARE EXAMINED. BECAUSE A LINE OF CASES HAVE PREVIOUSLY SUPPORTED THE INHERENT POWER OF THE COURT TO ORDER A PRETRIAL LINE-UP, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE COURT HAS THE SAME POWER TO ORDER PRETRIAL BLANK LINE-UPS. SOME FACTORS THAT WOULD INDICATE THE NEED FOR BLANK LINE-UPS TO GUARANTEE FAIRNESS ARE: PROPRIETY AND SUGGESTIVENESS OF OTHER IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES USED; DEGREE OF DOUBT CONCERNING IDENTIFICATION; CENTRALITY OF IDENTIFICATION TESTIMONY TO THE PROSECUTION CASE; LENGTH OF TIME BETWEEN EVENTS AND TRIAL; AND THE POSSIBILITY OF THE EYEWITNESS MAKING AN IDENTIFICATION IN COURT. FOOTNOTES AND CASE STUDIES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Evidence identification; Rights of the accused; Suspect identification; Witnesses
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51095

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