One of the interesting sidebars from my conversation with criminal justice scholar David Harris from the University of Pittsburgh Law School is on the question of whether police do lineups correctly.
Harris – who’s in the Twin Cities today for a discussion at the University of Minnesota Law School about how police use science – says movie versions of police line-ups capture one essence of truth that research has verified: Bringing in all the suspects in at once is not the best way for victims to identify the correct suspect.
Instead, Harris said, agencies should bring in suspects one at a time. That way, he notes, victims won’t compare potential suspects to the other suspects in the room, but rather to the image they have in their head of the person who committed the crime. Harris said Ramsey County has adopted this technique but adds he wishes more jurisdictions would follow suit.
Here is the audio of that part of my interview with Harris:
- Tom Weber, Daily Circuit