By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
The Texas legislature is considering measures to give force all law enforcement agencies conducting photo-lineups to have uniform standards and uniform procedures.
This article summarizes the problem and the situation. Texas has had an atrocious record of wrongful convictions, and the statute is designed at eliminating one of the root causes — photo lineups that are not done correctly. Experts agree that often the person administering the photo lineup can consciously or subconsciously influence the witness.
The measure will not entirely invalidate photo-lineups that don’t comply, however. As long as the lineup “substantially complies” with state law, it will still be legal. This clause takes a lot of bite out of the law, but it’s a step in the right direction none-the-less.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice pertaining to any legal matter you should consult an attorney directly.