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Troubles with police lineups

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | Firm News

Police lineups and eyewitness testimony have been known to lack reliability in Mississippi criminal cases. Sometimes, a defense strategy could cast doubts on whether the eyewitness can positively identify the defendant during a flawed lineup.

Bitemark evidence reliability

Some might assume that police lineups are as reliable as crystal-clear video footage evidence. That is only sometimes the case.

In certain instances, a victim or witness to a crime might be confused about what they saw. Perhaps they were too far away from the accused to make a positive identification. Intoxication, poor lighting, limited vision, and other issues might undermine the witness’s credibility. Their emotions may cloud their judgment.

The police may also attempt to guide citizens toward choosing a particular suspect. Law enforcement officials might even be coercive in their approach, raising questions about misconduct. Such behavior might point to the inadmissibility of the evidence.

Defense issues

Other elements could come together to cast reasonable doubt through a strong criminal defense. If questions surround the problems with positive identifications during a lineup, other questions may arise about the validity of the other evidence. When doubts surround whether the evidence truly points to guilt, the jury may come back with an acquittal.

A case could collapse before heading to trial. The judge may consider the eyewitness’s claims weak and drop the charges. Other cases may proceed, but problems with the lineup may plague the prosecutor’s case.

Convictions procured by police lineup-related evidence may face challenges in the appeals process. The appellate court might overrule the lower court and reverse the conviction. Or, the convicted could face a new trial and receive an acquittal.

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