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TheGrayLady
07-10-2012, 04:22 PM
In my book, two police officers visit the MC (victim) to get her to identify her kidnapper.

How would they go about this? Show her pictures? Would they be in a file, folder, notebook?

I have no idea how this works.

zahra
07-10-2012, 08:25 PM
I believe they can't just show the people THEY believe are the culprits. There would be a file with photos of putative suspects if she was not able to come to the station.

Then again, if they'd honed in on someone, they'd put the suspect in a line-up, behind a glass, where she could see them but they could not see her.

I'm not an expert in this area, but I believe that's how it's done. Someone more knowledgeable might be able to confirm or deny.

MarkEsq
07-10-2012, 10:47 PM
Assuming the police believe they know who did it, they'd likely to what's called a "photo array." Live line-ups are very rare these days because it's so hard to find innocents who look a lot like the suspects. Much easier to use photos.

But, the times are changing. Here in Austin our cops are part of a science-based (so I'm told) trial that involves getting rid of the old way and do it a new way. In the old days (and in many jurisdictions still) they will show a page of photos, six faces, and ask the witness to ID the culprit.

Here, the cops are showing the victim one photo at a time, each on a separate piece of paper, after making a little speech about "the person who raped you may or may not be in these photos, please take your time and look carefully at each one." If the victim IDs anyone, they sign the back of that photo and write "this is the man who raped me" or something like that on it.

Trebor1415
07-10-2012, 11:33 PM
In my book, two police officers visit the MC (victim) to get her to identify her kidnapper.

How would they go about this? Show her pictures? Would they be in a file, folder, notebook?

I have no idea how this works.

Are they trying to get her first description of the kidnapper, or trying to get her to ID a suspect from a photo? Just want to clarify.

If they have a suspect they'd likely do what Mark described and use six photos and ask her if it was one of those men. Their suspect would be one of the six photos and the other five would be essentially "duds", that is people who aren't suspected in the case.

They would have to take care that the photos were reasonably similiar. For instance, they couldn't use five B&W photos and and have the suspect's photo be in color. They also couldn't have one of the photos be obviously newer (as in printed recently) and the others be old and tattered, etc. This is to avoid the police biasing the result by making the photo of the of the person believe to be the suspect different enough so that the victim would be more drawn to ID that photo. There have been court cases on this, including one were the photo of the suspect was the only photo were he was standing under a sign that read "Danger."

I've heard of these photo arrays being called a "six pack".

MarkEsq
07-10-2012, 11:50 PM
They would have to take care that the photos were reasonably similiar. For instance, they couldn't use five B&W photos and and have the suspect's photo be in color. They also couldn't have one of the photos be obviously newer (as in printed recently) and the others be old and tattered, etc. This is to avoid the police biasing the result by making the photo of the of the person believe to be the suspect different enough so that the victim would be more drawn to ID that photo.

I forgot to mention this, but exactly right. What they do nowadays is use the booking photos of people previously arrested, which they show alongside the booking photo of the suspect. They match them as closely as they can.



There have been court cases on this, including one were the photo of the suspect was the only photo were he was standing under a sign that read "Danger."

Hehe. The cops trying to be helpful, eh?



I've heard of these photo arrays being called a "six pack".

In our jurisdiction, the "six pack" is all the photos on one page, whereas the "array" is each photo on a separate page. Other places may vary...

TheGrayLady
07-10-2012, 11:58 PM
Thanks guys, that helps a lot.


Are they trying to get her first description of the kidnapper, or trying to get her to ID a suspect from a photo? Just want to clarify.

They're trying to get her to ID a suspect from a photo.

She's in the hospital for a little bit so would the police bring the photos to her instead of waiting until she's released from the hospital?

jclarkdawe
07-11-2012, 12:32 AM
They can bring the pictures to the hospital. And some police departments that are technology-advanced will sometimes use phones with picture storing capabilities or laptops.

Do they have a booking picture, which can be from an earlier arrest? Non-booking photos are harder to create an array from, because background, like "Danger" signs, can impact the reaction. Further, if this is very early in the investigation, an individual picture might be used as a preliminary means of ID. Subsequently, you need an array or an actual lineup. In addition, confirmation of an ID of a suspect from a video of the crime scene or immediately around it can be used.

The best practices that Mark would recommend to the police as a prosecutor are not always followed. And some of what Mark would recommend as appropriate would get a motion to suppress out of me as defense attorney. There's a lot of litigation in this area, and a whole lot of cases where how the ID was obtained doesn't matter one iota to the case. In other words, the police might have botched it, but there's so much evidence, who cares.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

TheGrayLady
07-11-2012, 05:14 AM
Thank you Jim. That helps so much