FL Senate Approves Eyewitness ID Measure Unanimously

Apr 7, 2017

Then Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala). He now serves in the Florida Senate.
Credit Florida House of Representatives

The Florida Senate has unanimously approved a statewide standard for eyewitness identification.

A rash of wrongful convictions in recent years has shined a light on the shortcomings of eyewitness identification in criminal investigations.  Advocates have pushed for a number of changes to the way law enforcement agencies conduct suspect line-ups, and Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala) presented some of those proposals in the Senate floor.

“This is the bill that establishes a uniform procedure for conducting eyewitness identification,” Baxley said, “This will prevent misidentification, strengthen cases and avoid wrongful conviction.”

In live and photo line-ups the administering officer has to be unaware of the suspect’s identity to avoid prompting the witness.  A similar proposal is heading for its final committee in the House.