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SDPD Changing Lineup Practices

Above: The American Judicature Society Center for Forensic Science and Public Policy, in collaboration with the Innocence Project, the Police Foundation, and the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, have been examining eyewitness identification procedures in the field, namely the reliability of simultaneous versus sequential lineups administered under double-blind conditions using laptop computers. The group recently released a study analyzing more than 850 police lineups collected from four sites, the Austin (TX) Police Department, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) Police Department, the Tucson (AZ) Police Department, and the San Diego (CA) Police Department. We'll discuss the study findings and how SDPD will change its practices based on the results.

Aired 9/26/11 on KPBS Midday Edition.

The San Diego Police Department is changing the way it conducts lineups to identify suspects after results from a national study indicate that the method of reviewing suspect photos the department uses has an 18 percent error rate.


The San Diego Police Department is among four departments in major U.S. cities included in a study of how police lineups are used to identify suspects. The study reveals that 18 percent of the time, the eyewitness incorrectly identifies the suspect when a photo array is used compared to only 12 percent when lineup photos are shown one by one. We'll hear about problems with eyewitness testimony and how the SDPD will change its practices as a result of this study data.

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