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Simultaneous and Sequential Lineup Presentation

  • By: Jamal K. Mansour, Jennifer L. Beaudry, Michelle I. Bertrand & R. C. L. Lindsay
  • In: Encyclopedia of Psychology and Law
  • Edited by: Brian L. Cutler
  • Subject:Psychology of Law

Simultaneous and sequential presentation refers to two styles of presenting a police lineup to witnesses of a crime. Research shows that patterns in identification decisions differ between these presentation styles. This entry reviews the components of each presentation method and the advantages and disadvantages of their use and mentions some unresolved issues.

Some crimes involve perpetrators who are strangers to the victims and to eyewitnesses. When a suspect is identified by a police investigator, the investigator may ask the witness to view that suspect in a lineup or photo array containing the suspect and others who are known to be innocent (referred to as fillers, foils, or distracters). Four outcomes are possible: The witness can select the suspect, select a filler, respond that the suspect is ...

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