The State of Tennessee must prove identity in every criminal case. A defendant may be identified in a number of ways from eyewitness identification , photographic identification , voice identification , and by forensic science such as DNA evidence .One of the least trustworthy methods is eyewitness identification . Eyewitness identification has been the number one cause of false convictions in the United States .
There are three types of eyewitness identification used by police here in Tennessee :
- Show Ups
- Photographic Identification
A lineup is different from a show up in that a lineup requires the witness to identify the suspect from a group of people while a show up is a one on one identification. A photographic identification or commonly known as a photo array is the least reliable forms of identification . A photograph is two dimensional . The photo array procedure is where a detective places the suspect’s photo among other similar photos. The lead detective usually conducts the photo array and knows the suspect ‘s identity. Sometimes , the identification procedure can be influenced by the nonverbal clues given by the officer. Some experts suggest a double blind procedure be used . A double blind is where the police officer showing the photographs does not know who is the suspect.
Recently , Florida has enacted identification reform that requires a standardized policy on identification. It is now the rule of law in Florida . The Innocence Project has drafted a proposal for reforms to the eyewitness identification procedure . The Daytona Beach News Journal has written an editorial endorsing the new reform.
One of the easiest, and potentially most effective, fixes involves a simple tweak to a basic police tool: the lineup. This practice — in which police actually line up a row of people, or display a set of photographs and ask a witness to identify one as the criminal — is subject to flaws, particularly when the officer administering the lineup knows who the suspect is. Even though the officer might not intend to taint witness identification, it happens, through subtle "tells" such as fleeting changes of facial expression.
The solution is to remove that officer from the lineup process, substituting another officer — one who has never seen the suspect and doesn’t know who the ringers are. This procedure, called a "double-blind" lineup, is the best way to ensure that eyewitness IDs are as accurate as possible. In addition, police should take care to ensure that all subjects in a lineup are as physically similar as possible.
Florida is trying to correct the problems in the criminal justice system. It appears the State of Tennessee does not want to fix the problems and injustices in the system . Tennessee Legislators want to use the criminal; justice system as a political football to gain support with the public . Wipe out the exclusionary rule , put GPS devices on everyone accused of a crime , make jail sentences excessive those are their solutions . Let’s copy Florida instead of Arizona.