Legal Issues Involving Show-Ups, Line-Ups, and Photographic Identification

Michael S. Vaughn, Georgia State University
Volkan Topalli, Georgia State University
Sarah Pierre, Georgia State University

Research has shown that eyewitness testimony is an unreliable method of identifying persons involved in criminal activity. Yet, the criminal justice system frequently relies on such testimony and the lay public believes that short of DNA evidence show-ups, line-ups, and photographic identifications of suspects are an effective way of identifying criminal suspects. This paper explores the legal issues involved in eyewitness identification through use of show-ups, line-ups and photographic identifications.

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Updated 05/20/2006