New rules for photos of suspects called fairer
Monday, November 8, 2010 02:50 AM
By John Futty
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
More than 1,000 times a year, Columbus robbery detectives ask victims and witnesses to look at arrays of mug shots in hopes of identifying a suspect.
The so-called photo lineups sometimes result in arrests and convictions, but rarely in controversy, said Sgt. Shaun Laird of the robbery unit.
"I think we've had one of the premier systems of any law-enforcement agency," he said. "It has always stood up to scrutiny."
Laird didn't think there was a need for state legislators to approve a criminal-evidence bill this year that requires a "blind" procedure, in which the person administering the photo lineup doesn't know the identity of the suspect, or a "folder system," in which only the witness looks at the photos.