Honolulu Police Department Adopts Sequential and Double-Blind Lineup Protocol


In an effort to prevent wrongful convictions, the Honolulu Police Department is changing its photo lineup procedure, to now require that photos be shown sequentially, as opposed to six at a time as they have been presented traditionally. 


Former federal agent and retired police officer Tommy Aiu told

Hawaii News Now

that with “six-pack” lineups, the witness uses relative judgment, comparing each photo to the others in the group and to their memory of the perpetrator. With sequential lineups, the witness uses absolute judgment, comparing each photo only to their memory of the perpetrator.

Hawaii News Now

reports that the police department now also requires that lineups be double-blind, meaning that the administering officer cannot be involved in the investigation and must not know who the suspect is among the photos.  If the officer is familiar with the suspect, he or she may send signals to the witness, intentionally or otherwise.

Sequential and double-blind identification procedures have been shown to significantly decrease the number of misidentifications.  The National Academy of Sciences validated double-blind identification procedures recommended by the Innocence Project in a


released in October of last year.

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