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Much better than the sequential lineup: a 120-person lineup

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Large lineups may be more reliable than small ones. However, research has found greatly reduced identifications in 40-person lineups of photos shown sequentially one at a time. The task may be more difficult than necessary. Grouping photos may provide an easier one. Three studies had compared seven-page lineups (42, 84, or 168 members) with lineups of about 20. In the first two studies identification and mistaken choice rates were identical in the large and smaller lineup. Identifications in the 168-person lineup were much less. This study tested a 10-page 120-person lineup, and added a 12-person lineup. No difference was found between the 120- and 24-person lineups, and an interaction in 12-person lineups was found between graduate lab student witnesses and others. False identifications, and the probability that the suspect is innocent when ‘identified’, is much less in 120-person lineups than the 24- or 12-person lineups, or the sequential lineup.
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Keywords: identification; lineup reliability; lineup size; mistaken identification; police lineup

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Public Defenders, Jerusalem, Israel

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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