The police lineup has been a technique for a witness to identify a defendant they had no prior connection to for decades. It was always believed that the police lineup presented eyewitness testimony. As such, there was no better evidence (other than a confession). Throughout the years, we have learned that the police lineup can be a compromised situation.
The rules of the lineup are enough; the problem is the application of said rules. Lineups are not supposed to be suggestive. As the physical lineup is deemed a critical stage, a right to counsel is supposed to be present. In a perfect world, the lineup presents justice for all. As we will learn in speaking to many of the top lawyers in the State of Michigan, we are not living in a perfect world.
Matthew McManus is the founder of McManus and Amadeo, one of the top criminal defense firms in Michigan. (https://www.mcmanusamadeo.com/). McManus is known as one of the leading researchers in the state and spoke on the topic. McManus said, “Every police agency does a lineup with their variation. Just like there is no such thing as uniformity of law, there is no uniformity in the lineup. The procedures for maintaining the evidence depend on the police agency. The Michigan State Police changed their policy in the recent past and the changes display there were problems with the concept.”