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On Suggestive and Necessary Identification Procedures

16 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2009 Last revised: 24 Mar 2010

Ofer Raban

University of Oregon - School of Law

Date Written: August 4, 2009


Despite the paramount importance of identification evidence in criminal trials, Supreme Court precedents on the subject have been confusing and confused. The result is widespread misapplication of proper constitutional doctrine: lower courts habitually admit evidence of suggestive identification procedures if they find such procedures to have been ‘necessitated’ by circumstances on the ground. Such reasoning misinterprets the governing Supreme Court cases and, in any event, makes little sense. Whether necessary or not, evidence of suggestive identification procedures, and any consequent in-court identifications, must be excluded from trial unless supported by sufficient indicia of reliability.

Keywords: criminal procedure, due process, identification procedures, suggestive identification procedures, admissibility

Suggested Citation

Raban, Ofer, On Suggestive and Necessary Identification Procedures (August 4, 2009). American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 37, 2009. Available at SSRN:

Ofer Raban (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - School of Law ( email )

1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR Oregon 97403
United States

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