The live presentation of a criminal suspect to a victim or witness of a crime.

A show-up usually occurs immediately or shortly after a crime has occurred. If law enforcement personnel see a person who they suspect is the perpetrator of a very recent crime, the officers may apprehend the suspect and bring him back to the scene of the crime and show him to witnesses, or the officers may take the suspect to a police station and bring the witnesses to the station. This method of identification of a criminal suspect is a legitimate tool of law enforcement and is encumbered by few judicial restraints.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an unnecessarily suggestive identification procedure is a violation of due process (Stovall v. Denno, 388 U.S. 293, 87 S. Ct. 1967, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1199 [1967]). Evidence from such an identification should be excluded from a trial of the suspect. A show-up is inherently suggestive because police generally do not present to a witness a person who they believe is innocent of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, show-ups do not violate due process if they are conducted near the scene of the crime and shortly after the crime was committed.

Show-ups are a valuable and practical tool in apprehending criminals. If a witness affirmatively identifies a suspect as the perpetrator of a crime, police can detain the suspect without delay to serve the interests of public safety. If a witness fails to identify the subject of a show-up as the perpetrator, the show-up will result in the quick release of the innocent suspect and allow police to redirect their efforts.

A show-up should be conducted shortly after a crime has been committed. If police do not apprehend a suspect until the next day, or several days or weeks afterward, they will have time to conduct a traditional, in-person lineup. One exception is when a traditional lineup is impractical. For example, if the sole witness to a crime is bedridden and approaching death, police may bring the suspect to the victim even if the crime occurred several days before the show-up (Stovall).

A show-up should not be performed for a witness unless the witness has displayed an ability to make a clear identification of the perpetrator of the crime. A show-up for a witness who cannot cite any identifying characteristics of the perpetrator may be unnecessarily suggestive and may be excluded from a subsequent trial of the suspect.

Because a show-up generally involves detention of a criminal suspect, police must have a reasonable suspicion that the suspect committed a crime before subjecting the suspect to a show-up. This is a low level of certainty and need only be supported by enough articulable facts to lead a reasonable officer to believe that the suspect may have committed a crime.


Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure.

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References in periodicals archive ?
No other suspects are found in the immediate area, so one of the on-scene officers radios the arresting officer and instructs him to hold the man for a show-up procedure, in which he will be presented singly to the crime victim for identification.
First and foremost, given that show-up procedures are highly unreliable, is show-up evidence nonetheless admissible at trial?
Instead, the revolutionary approach begins with the general rule that show-up evidence is not admissible unless at the time of the show-up: (1) exigent circumstances prevented the use of a less suggestive procedure, such as a lineup or photo array; or (2) the police lacked probable cause to arrest the defendant and, therefore, could not have legally detained him long enough to conduct a lineup or photo array.
9) However, despite the minority rule's benefits, trial courts do not like the constraints that it places on law enforcement and have easily been able to thwart this would-be revolution in the law of show-up identifications.
If a court can somehow find that, at the time of the show-up, exigent circumstances prevented the use of a lineup or photo array, then the show-up will be admissible at trial.
Unfortunately, as Part III illustrates, eyewitness identification evidence--evidence that is generally proven to be highly unreliable--can be made even less reliable, and consequently more harmful, when police use show-up procedures instead of lineups or photo arrays.
A show-up is an identification procedure in which the police present a single suspect to an eyewitness and then ask the eyewitness whether the suspect is the perpetrator.
Unfortunately, the convenience of a show-up comes at a high price: the increased risk of a false identification.
One study revealed that "when the identification was conducted twenty-four hours afterwards, fourteen percent of those who viewed a lineup made a mistaken identification, whereas fifty-three percent of those who viewed a show-up made a mistaken identification.
Interestingly, however, the risk inherent in a show-up extends much further than simply the wrongful conviction of an innocent person.
Second, show-up procedures produce even less reliable eyewitness evidence, which makes already bad evidence even worse, and is even more likely to result in false identifications and wrongful convictions.
During his time with the senior team, Hassan has played in two Gulf Cups (1996 in Oman and 1998 in Bahrain), the UAE's runner-up campaign at the Asian Cup at home in 1996 along with a couple of show-ups in Fifa World Cup qualifiers during that period.