New Study Validates Revised Photo Lineup Procedures

September 21st, 2011

On Monday, September 19, the AJS Center for Forensic Science and Public Policy, in collaboration with the Innocence Project, the Police Foundation, and the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, released a study conducted over the past three years examining eyewitness identification procedures. The study analyzed over 850 lineups in four different police departments: Austin, TX; Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC; Tucson, AZ; and San Diego, CA. Researchers found that when witnesses view photo lineups in a sequential manner, meaning they are shown one photo at a time, rather than in a simultaneous manner, meaning they are shown all of the suspects’ photos at once, the rate of identifying “filler” photos, photos known definitively not to be the suspect, fell by 6%. Erroneous eyewitness identifications are a factor in over 75% of wrongful convictions, making systemic improvements in the way lineups are conducted all the more important.

Read the full report.

Read the NYT article about the report.