(2) Having the witness repeat his description one or more times may reveal
discrepancies. Pointing out and discussing these lead to a better description or
to his admission of intentional distortion.
(3) Weighing the description made by a witness in the light of information
A witness suspected of
concealing information or of lying will make unconscious slips.
11. Identification. This is the act relating a person, place, object, or event to
an incident or offense under investigation.
You must conduct identification
activities in such a manner as to preclude error or injustice.
identification is undertaken, you must be sure that the witness has made as
complete and as detailed a description as possible. To avoid false identification
and to eliminate the possibility of error, he should be given the chance to make
comparisons of similar persons, objects, places, and events. For example, showing
a witness a single weapon or confronting him with one person for identification
purposes may confuse the witness and lead him to make a false identification simply
because the weapon or person has been shown to him by you. He should be asked to
identify a person or object from among a group of similar persons or objects. A
witness attempting to identify a place should be asked to describe it in detail
after having described it in relation to known landmarks; he should be asked to
lead you to the scene. Certain techniques may prove useful. These include:
identifications of persons or objects, a procedure known as the lineup may be
This offers a confrontation without leading or misleading the witness.
While it is most commonly employed in the identification of suspected persons, it
is equally useful with objects.
A lineup for the purpose of
identification of a suspected
person involves assembling a group of six to twelve
persons including the suspect.
This gives a witness the chance to view the group
in an attempt to identify the
In planning for a lineup of this nature,
consideration should be given
(a) Ensuring that the suspect is not made conspicuous in some manner
which would influence that witness in making the identification. For example, all
in the lineup should be of the same general appearance as the suspect.
(b) Location so as to facilitate the conduct of the lineup without
attracting undue attention or creating a disturbance. The lineup should be held in
a room, office, barracks, or other area screened from public view.
(c) Lighting should illuminate brightly the group of persons to
Leave the remainder of the room or area in the dim light.
Lighting should be so planned as to prevent the persons in the lineup from
seeing the person making the identification. When such lighting is provided, the