Eyewitness Identification Research Laboratory
At the University of Texas at El Paso

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Thirty nine Hispanic people from the UTEP campus examined the lineup and made a choice. The expected ID rate per lineup member is 6.5. Here are the results:

4

8

4

1

22

0

Mr. Ford is in position #5. Obviously the lineup is biased towards picking Mr. Ford, because he stands out from the fillers in the lineup. The expected identification rate in a six-person lineup is 1 / 6 = 16.7%. Twenty two choices out of 39 is 56.4%. We are more than 99% certain that the rate at which Mr. Ford was chosen exceeds the level of chance expectation (16.67%), and are very confident that the observed rate of identification is larger than would be expected if only chance factors determined participants lineup choices.  It is likely that some systematic process is occurring to direct choices to Mr. Ford.

It is not difficult to discern what these might be. Note that the 3 lowest frequency lineup members taken together (a total of 5 identifications) do not add up to the number of choices expected for one fully adequate lineup member. As safeguards against false identification these three fillers may as well not be there, and the risk of false identification for an innocent suspect is about 1 in 3, or 33%. The 3 ineffective fillers in this lineup fail in their role as a safeguard against false identification. An additional filler fulfills only 66% of its expected performance as a safeguard against false identification of an innocent suspect.

It is not difficult to understand why these fillers are inadequate when you examine their degree of resemblance to the suspect in this lineup - Mr. Ford.

Tony Ford Lineup | Ford / Belton Similarity Study

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