Dallas The Largest Force To Use New Lineup Method


Frustrated with a string of wrongful convictions, the Dallas police department now is the nation’s largest force to use sequential blind photo lineups – a widely praised technique designed to reduce mistakes made by witnesses trying to identify suspects, the Associated Press reports. Dallas is not the first department to use the method. Experts hope that by using it in the county that leads the U.S. in exonerating wrongly convicted inmates, Dallas will inspire other departments to do the same. “If Dallas can do it [] then others are going to rise to the occasion,” said Iowa State psychology professor Gary Wells, an expert on police lineups.

The department adopted sequential blind lineups in April. Before that, it used the traditional six-pack: mounting six photos onto a folder and showing them to a witness or victim at the same time. In sequential blind lineups, mug shots are shown one at a time. Detectives displaying the photos don’t know who the suspect is, so they can’t purposely or accidentally tip off witnesses.

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