Identification methods are subject to constitutional constraints under the Fifth Amendment. It is important that the identification, by a victim or witness, withstand constitutional scrutiny. That requires conducting the lineup in alignment with court interpretation of Fifth Amendment requirements.
Let’s explore. Police arrested Seth Slim for an alleged rape. Police initially set up the lineup with Seth Slim, who was a white male and unusually tall and lean, and four other men, one white, one black, and one Hispanic, of average height and weight. Before the victim made the identification, the officer asked you, the sergeant, whether it was okay to proceed with the lineup.
The competencies addressed in this discussion are supported by discussion objectives.
- Competency 4: Document philosophical underpinnings and public policy influences associated with the U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
- Discuss the public policy and philosophical underpinnings of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on lineup requirements.
- Competency 3: Explain the substantive and procedural interpretations of individual freedoms based on case analysis.
- Explain the requirements for a lineup for Fifth Amendment compliance.
- Determine whether the lineup, as currently organized, is likely to withstand challenge by the defense if the victim immediately identifies a suspect and include rationale.