skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 64004 Find in a Library
Title: LINE-UP IN BRITISH CRIMINAL PROCEDURE - COMMENTS ON THE DEVLIN REPORT ABOUT THE VISUAL IDENTIFICATION OF CRIMINALS
Journal: ZEITSCHRIFT FUER DIE GESAMTE STRAFRECHTSWISSENSCHAFT  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(1977)  Pages:849-869
Author(s): H SCHROTH
Corporate Author: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BRITISH DEVLIN REPORT ON THE DEEMPHASIS OF THE LINE-UP AS A MEANS OF IDENTIFYING OFFENDERS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: VISUAL IDENTIFICATION OF OFFENDERS BY WITNESSES IS RECOGNIZED IN ENGLAND AS ONE OF THE GREATEST SOURCES OF MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE. THE LINE-UP HAS EXISTED IN ENGLAND FOR ABOUT 100 YEARS, AND IN KEEPING WITH COMMON LAW, THE RULES FOR THE PROCEDURE ARE NOT WRITTEN. CONFRONTATION OF THE WITNESS WITH THE SUSPECT IS NOT IN ANY CASE PERMITTED. THE DEVLIN REPORT PROPOSES THAT WRITTEN LEGAL NORMS BE ESTABLISHED AND THAT THE LINE-UP ONLY BE USED WHEN NO OTHER MEANS OF PROOF IS AVAILABLE, AS THE ABILITY OF INDIVIDUALS TO RECOGNIZE OFFENDERS ACCURATELY FROM MEMORY VARIES CONSIDERABLY, ESPECIALLY WHEN A NUMBER OF SIMILAR INDIVIDUALS ARE VIEWED. THE IDENTIFICATION METHOD IS TO BE EMPLOYED PRIMARILY FOR PRELIMINARY HEARINGS; IN THE MAIN TRIAL THE ACCUSER MUST PROVE THAT THE ACCUSED IS THE OFFENDER. DOCK IDENTIFICATION (I.E., IDENTIFICATION OF THE OFFENDER IN THE COURTROOM DURING THE MAIN TRIAL WITHOUT PRIOR DESCRIPTION OR LINE-UP) IS TO BE AVOIDED. THE REQUIREMENT THAT LINE-UP IDENTIFICATION THE CORROBORATED IN THE MAIN TRIAL DOES NOT ENSURE THAT MISIDENTIFICATIONS WILL BE AVOIDED. THE DEVLIN COMMITTEE SUPPORTS THE NOTION THAT JUDGES IN THEIR SUMMING UP SHOULD CAREFULLY WEIGH THE CREDIBILITY OF A SINGLE WITNESS WHO HAS IDENTIFIED AN ALLEGED OFFENDER; JUDGES' INSTRUCTIONS TO THE JURY MUST EXPLAIN THAT WITNESS IDENTIFICATION IS NOT SUFFICIENT FOR CONVICTION WITHOUT ADDITIONAL PROOF UNLESS THE CASE IS EXCEPTIONAL. THE VALUE OF THE LINE-UP AS PROOF IS THUS CONSIDERABLY DIMINISHED. NOTES ARE SUPPLIED. --IN GERMAN. (KMD)
Index Term(s): England; Evidence; Line-up; Mug shots; Rules of evidence; Suspect identification; Trial procedures; Witnesses
Note: REPORT TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT OF THE DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE OF IDENTIFICATION IN CRIMINAL CASES, 1976 - GREAT BRITAIN
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64004

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.