Chicago Police Study on Police Lineups in the NYT


Fascinating article in today’s NYT about a study conducted by the Chicago Police regarding the effectiveness of different methods of conducting police lineups. Specifically, the study, ironically enough, commissioned by then-Governor George Ryan, compared “simultaneous” lineups (like the one in the movie poster above) to “sequential” lineups, in which a witness looks at one photo of a suspect at a time, rather than as a group.

The verdict?

” ‘Surprisingly,’ the study said, the sequential lineups proved less reliable than the simultaneous ones.

Out of 700 lineups, witnesses in those using the simultaneous method chose the correct suspect 60 percent of the time, compared with 45 percent of the time for the sequential lineups. Witnesses in the sequential lineups were more likely to pick the wrong person — someone brought in as filler — choosing incorrectly 9 percent of the time, versus just 3 percent in the simultaneous lineups.

And witnesses declined to make a pick in 47 percent of the sequential lineups, compared with 38 percent of the simultaneous ones. (Percentages were rounded.)”

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