Photographic Identification Case Study

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Photographic identification is more common than lineups and show-ups; however, judges have expressed their fear that the absence of the requirement of counsel at photographic identification "confrontations" might encourage police to abuse the identification process. (Wasberg, 2009) A “photo array” is a head-and-shoulders (mug shot) of the suspect and other mug shot pictures of people of similar age, race, and description, which a witness or victim attempts to pick the perpetrator. (Wasberg, 2009) A suspect is not present during a photo identification, only the witnesses and the police investigator are present. Therefore, photo identifications are not considered to be a “critical stage” of prosecution; considering, there is no Sixth Amendment …show more content…
Due Process challenges are whether an identification procedure is suggestive. The Court, applying the United States v. Stovall test, to determine that the method used to identify a defendant did not exceed the bounds of due process; nonetheless, identifications was fair and reliable. (Salisbury, 1979) The Courts found that photographic identifications were more common and useful to help law enforcement move to apprehend the felons before they fled the vicinity. Also, “the Court stated that the threshold question is whether the procedure employed is one of confrontation; and that photographic identification is not of a confrontation nature; therefore, it would become so if counsel for the defense were interjected into the process” (Salisbury, 1979). The Courts held that an expansion of the right to counsel would intrude upon a portion of the prosecutor's preparation interviews with witnesses, and was vehemently opposed to such a result, which concluded that the adversary process was sufficient to expose any possible defects in photographic identification procedures. (Salisbury,

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