Lineup Construction and Lineup Fairness

Authored by: Roy S. Malpass , Colin G. Tredoux , Dawn McQuiston-Surrett

Handbook of Eyewitness Psychology

Print publication date:  October  2006
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805881073
eBook ISBN: 9781315805535
Adobe ISBN: 9781317777830

10.4324/9781315805535.ch7

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Abstract

Police lineups come from English criminal law and procedure. According to Devlin (1976), lineups were instituted through a Middlesex magistrate’s order in the mid-nineteenth century. They were intended as a fair replacement for the practices of courtroom identification, and showups, which were widely used in nineteenth-century England but widely recognized as potentially unfair to the defendant. Their origin indicates that the notion of fairness is their raison d’être. They are intended to secure an identification that can potentially incriminate someone but is fair to those who are subjected to it, particularly those who are innocent of the crime.

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