|Eyewitness Identification Research Laboratory
At the University of Texas at El Paso
|We asked 32 Hispanic people from the UTEP
campus to examine the lineup and try to pick the
offender. The expected ID rate per lineup member is 5.33. Here are the results:
The defendant in this case is in position #4. Obviously the lineup is biased towards picking the defendant, because he stands out from the fillers in the lineup.
Note that the 4 lowest frequency lineup members taken together do not add up to the number of choices expected for one lineup member. Four of the five fillers may as well not be there, and the risk of false identification for an innocent suspect is nearly 1 in 2, or 50%. The 4 ineffective fillers in this lineup fail in their role as a safeguard against false identification.
Go to the next page to learn about the general principles of lineup fairness evaluation.