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Florida could put police lineup standards into law

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida could put into law police lineup guidelines that the state’s top law enforcement agency developed six years ago.

The Senate voted unanimously for a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to use the lineup standards to avoid eyewitness mistakes that could lead to wrongful convictions.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement encouraged agencies to adopt the standards, but agencies aren’t required to do so.

Eyewitness mistakes are to blame in 64 percent of cases in which defendants are later exonerated by DNA evidence.

The current guidelines suggest lineups be conducted by an administrator who does not know the suspect in order to ensure impartiality. Also, witnesses should be told that suspects may or may not be in a photo or in-person lineup and that they are not required to make an identification.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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