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Police Lineups, Psychology of

The police lineup involves the presentation of multiple individuals (a suspect and a group of known innocent individuals known as fillers) to a witness in order to determine whether or not the witness recognizes the suspect as the perpetrator of the crime. The purpose of presenting a suspect within a group of other individuals is to increase the likelihood that a witness who identifies the suspect is doing so because the suspect is the perpetrator and not simply because the witness feels compelled to identify someone. A properly constructed and administered lineup provides information regarding the likelihood that the suspect is the perpetrator. In U.S. agencies, lineups are typically administered with photo spreads: A photograph of the suspect is presented among photographs of persons of ...

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