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NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Quarterly Dated: (February-April 1993) Pages: 11- 14
B Green
Date Published
4 pages
This article describes procedures for conducting a line-up that allows witnesses to view suspects shown with "fillers" (persons of similar appearance to the suspect).
The court expects a line-up to reflect a reasonable, good faith effort to make the line-up as fair as possible. Most lineups consist of the defendant and five fillers, although four fillers are generally acceptable. The investigating officer is in charge of the lineup; defense counsel can be present at the line-up to observe procedures without comment. A live line-up should be conducted in every major case where a suspect is in custody and eyewitness identification is at issue. Live viewing provides the witnesses a greater chance of identifying a suspect than does a photo line-up. Line-ups should be conducted at the sheriff's jail facilities and at juvenile hall. The defendant should be instructed in lineup procedures prior to the line-up. If defendants will be asked to speak in the course of the line-up, they should be told beforehand what they will be asked to say. Defendants should be made aware that all fillers will follow instructions in the course of the line-up and any failure of the defendant to do likewise will call attention to himself/herself. Witnesses should also be prepared for the line-up. This includes instructing them in line-up procedures and the use of the identification card. Procedures for the actual lineup are described in detail.


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