Study: Traditional police lineups valuable

Mar 29, 2006

A three-city study by Chicago police suggests traditional methods of identifying suspects might produce better results than newer techniques.

The study tested the accuracy of witness identifications in police investigations in Chicago, Evanston and Joliet, all in Illinois.

Traditional lineups involve victims viewing several people -- including a suspect - simultaneously. A more modern technique called a sequential lineup involves victims viewing pictures or people one-by-one.

In sequential lineups a "double-blind" method is used, meaning they are conducted by someone not investigating that specific case, The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

The Illinois data contradict previous research that suggested double-blind, sequential lineups produce a lower rate of false identifications.

Of 319 simultaneous lineups conducted during the study, the suspect identified by police was chosen 59.9 percent of the time. Of 229 sequential lineups, the suspect was chosen 45 percent of the time.

But one critic of the study, Iowa State psychology Professor Gary Wells, notes the simultaneous lineups were not double-blind studies, with investigators working the cases supervising the lineups.

Wells says the double-blind method is more reliable because a lineup administrator involved in that specific investigation might unintentionally lead a victim to pick the suspect.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

49 minutes ago

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

1 hour ago

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

2 hours ago

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

Recommended for you

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Apr 19, 2014

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I's government came up with a series of measures to deter "divers evil persons" ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.