Senate Bill No. 82
(By Senator Hunter)
[Introduced January 15, 2007; referred to the Committee on the
Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §62-1E-1, §62-1E-2,
§62-1E-3, §62-1E-4, §62-1E-5 and §62-1E-6, all relating to
creating the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §62-1E-1, §62-1E-2,
§62-1E-3, §62-1E-4, §62-1E-5 and §62-1E-6, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1E. EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION REFORM ACT.
§62-1E-1. Short title.
This Act is known as the "Eyewitness Identification Reform
§62-1E-2. Legislative findings and purpose.
This law is enacted by the Legislature to help convict the
guilty and exonerate the innocent in criminal proceedings by improving procedures for eyewitness identification of suspects.
The Legislature finds:
(1) Many innocent people are accused or convicted of serious
crimes because of mistaken eyewitness identification.
(2) Mistaken police lineup identification distract
law-enforcement agencies from apprehending perpetrators.
(3) Law-enforcement experts now recognize the problem of
mistaken identifications and recommended solutions.
(4) Three procedures recommended by the National Institute of
Justice substantially improve eyewitness identifications: "Blind"
lineup administrators, specific instructions to witnesses and
For the purposes of this article:
(1) "Eyewitness" means a person whose identification of
another person may be relevant in a criminal proceeding.
(2) "Lineup" means a photo lineup or live lineup.
(3) "Lineup administrator" means the person who conducts a
(4) "Live lineup" means a procedure in which a group of people
is displayed to an eye witness for the purpose of determining if
the eyewitness is able to identify the perpetrator of a crime.
(5) "Photo lineup" means a procedure in which an array of
photographs is displayed to an eyewitness for the purpose of determining if the eyewitness is able to identify the perpetrator
of a crime.
§62-1E-4. Eyewitness identification procedures.
(a) Lineups conducted by state, county and local
law-enforcement officers shall meet the following requirements:
(1) Where practicable, the lineup administrator shall be a
person who does not know which person in the lineup is the suspect.
(2) Before a lineup, the eyewitness shall be instructed that
the perpetrator might or might not be presented in the lineup, that
the eyewitness is not required to make an identification, and it is
as important to exclude innocent persons as it is to identify the
(3) Individuals in the lineup shall be presented sequentially,
not simultaneously. However, if for any reason the lineup
administrator knows which person in the lineup is the suspect, the
lineup must be presented simultaneously, not sequentially.
(b) Law-enforcement officers shall make a written record of a
lineup, including the following information:
(1) The date, time and location of the lineup.
(2) The names of every person present at the lineup.
(3) The words used by the eyewitness in any identification,
including words that describe the eyewitness' certainty of
(4) Whether it was a photo lineup or live lineup.
(5) How many photos or individuals were presented in the
(6) Whether the lineup administrator knew which person in the
lineup was the suspect.
(7) Whether before the lineup the eyewitness was instructed
that the perpetrator might or might not be presented in the lineup,
and that the lineup administrator did not know who was the suspect.
(8) Whether the lineup was simultaneous or sequential.
(9) The signature of the eyewitness.
§62-1E-5. Remedies for noncompliance.
(a) Failure to comply with any of the requirements of this
article shall be considered by the court in adjudicating motions to
suppress eyewitness identification.
(b) Failure to comply with any of the requirements of this
article shall be admissible in support of claims of eyewitness
misidentification, as long as such evidence is otherwise
(c) When evidence of noncompliance with the requirements of
this article has been presented at trial, the jury shall be
instructed that it may consider credible evidence of noncompliance
to determine the reliability of eyewitness identifications.
§62-1E-6. Training of law-enforcement officers.
The Superintendent of State Police shall create educational
materials and conduct training programs to instruct law-enforcement
officers and recruits how to conduct lineups in compliance with
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the Eyewitness
Identification Reform Act.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.