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Identification Procedures - Essay Example

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Explain each procedure and discuss their uses. Discuss how each procedure is performed and whether or not each one constitutes admissible evidence at a trial and the rationale for admitting it or not admitting it. Your papers should include cases that illustrate each procedure.
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Identification Procedures
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Download file to see previous pages After all, the liberty and in some jurisdictions life of a man are at stake and one wrong ruling can completely re-route the course of a trial. Against that backdrop, there are several types of pretrial identifications employed by law enforcement. With respect to lineups, showups, on-the-scene identifications, and photographic or sketch identification, the requirements of due process must also be met before the prior identification may be admitted. The pretrial identification procedure of course may not be suggestive unless required by the exigencies of the circumstances. However admission into evidence of testimony concerning a suggestive identification not required by the exigencies of the circumstances does not violate due process so long as the identification possesses sufficient aspects of reliability so that there is not a very substantial likelihood of misidentification.
Factors to be considered in determining reliability include the opportunity of the witness to view the criminal at the time of the crime, the witness' degree of attention, the accuracy of his prior description of the criminal, the level of certainty demonstrated at the confrontation, and the time between the crime and the confrontation. Against these factors is to be weighed the corrupting effect of the suggestive identification itself. ...
One type of identification of a prospective defendant, and the least popular, is known as the single show up. Generally, a showup in which a witness views only one suspect has been held to be suggestive. Bratcher v. McCray, 419 F. Supp. 2d 352 (W.D. N.Y. 2006). As a result, this method is generally not preferred. State v. Gibbs, 864 So. 2d 866 (La. Ct. App. 5th Cir. 2003). However, a single man lineup even when requested by the accused has been held to be proper if the procedure is ruled to be reliable and it does not violate due process. U.S. v. McGrath, 89 F. Supp. 2d 569 (E.D. Pa. 2000). A showup may be proper under the following circumstances: where it occurs shortly after the alleged crime1 near the scene of the crime2as the witness' memory is still fresh3, and the suspect has not had time to alter his or her looks or dispose of evidence,4 and the showup may expedite the release of innocent suspects, and enable the police to determine whether to continue searching. State v. Mansfield, 343 S.C. 66 (Ct. App. 2000).
The jurisdictions are somewhat varied but under some, pretrial showup identification procedures are only permissible under the following circumstances:
1. Where exigent circumstances require it People v. Matthews, 257 A.D.2d 635, 684 N.Y.S.2d 564 (2d Dep't 1999).
2. The suspects are found at or near the crime scene and an immediate viewing may be held. People v. Matthews, 257 A.D.2d 635, 684 N.Y.S.2d 564 (2d Dep't 1999).

While some jurisdictions have ruled that exigent circumstances are not required, courts have held that exigent circumstances have not been demonstrated where the suspect was not in direct flight , the witness's life was not in peril and a lineup or photographic lineup were not impracticable. Ex parte ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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