Sources of Contamination in Lineup Identifications

Eyewitness identification is not infallible. Indeed, in about half of known cases of wrongful conviction, at least one eyewitness mistakenly identified the innocent suspect as the perpetrator. Professor Brian Cutler focuses on events that can contaminate lineup identifications. He discusses two general situations in which the lineup identification might not be compelling inculpatory evidence: (1) when the lineup is not the first time the eyewitness identified the suspect and (2) when the eyewitness is able to guess the suspect’s identity.