North Carolina Panel Urges Improved Lineup Procedures to Protect Innocent

In an effort to prevent wrongful convictions and ensure accurate eyewitness identification, the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission has recommended new procedures for state law enforcement agencies. The commission was formed by state Supreme Court Justice Beverly Lake and is comprised of judges, police, prosecutors, defense attorneys and others. Among the recommendations were policy changes requiring police to show eyewitnesses lineup participants one at a time in live lineups or photos, instead of revealing them as a group, to ensure that the witnesses evaluate each person individually, instead of comparing them. In addition, the commission recommended that police officers in charge of the lineup not know which participant is the suspect to avoid the potential of pressuring the witness or providing helpful hints. (Associated Press, September 13, 2003). See Innocence.