5 ”Problems” With Police Lineups

In United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1967), the United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of unnecessarily suggestive lineup procedures.

Situations in which an accused is prejudiced by the lineup procedures may include:

(1) All in the lineup but the suspect were known to the identifying witness;

(2) the other participants in a lineup were grossly dissimilar in appearance to the suspect;

(3) Only the suspect was required to wear distinctive clothing which the culprit allegedly wore;

(4) the witness is told by the police that they have caught the culprit after which the defendant is brought before the witness alone or is viewed in jail;

(5) the suspect is pointed out before or during a lineup, and that the participants in the lineup are asked to try on an article of clothing which fits only the suspect." Wade, 388 U.S. at 233,18 L. Ed. 2d at 1160-61, 87 S. Ct. at 1935-36.