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Criminal Law

2012

Vanderbilt Law Review

Pre-trial procedures

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Eyewitnesses And Exclusion, Brandon L. Garrett Mar 2012

Eyewitnesses And Exclusion, Brandon L. Garrett

Vanderbilt Law Review

The dramatic moment when an eyewitness takes the stand and points to the defendant in the courtroom can be pivotal in a criminal trial. That piece of theater, however compelling to jurors, is staged: it is obvious where the defendant is sitting, and, importantly, the memory of the eyewitness should have been tested before trial using photo arrays or lineups. Such courtroom displays have been accepted for so long that their role in the U.S. Supreme Court's due process jurisprudence regulating eyewitness identifications has been neglected. The due process test that regulates tens of thousands of eyewitness identifications each year …