Police Report Sheds New Light on Duke Case

Defense attorneys had their own criticism about how the lineup was done and have said they would suppress the results of the lineup. Sources close to Seligmann also point out that he and other members of the team look alike, casting doubt on the alleged victim's ability to single out her alleged attacker.

Despite questions and criticisms about the process, says Josh Marquis, a prosecutor and board member of the National District Attorneys Association, "someone identifying someone with 100 percent is very powerful piece of evidence in court -- though like all eyewitness testimony it has to be tested by a jury."

Marquis adds that he feels it is was unfair for details about how suspects were identified to be disclosed at the current phase of the case.

The police report also included the accuser's account of being hit, kicked and strangled. A nurse's report based on an examination of the alleged victim on the night of the party reportedly found signs of trauma on her body. She claims to have had bruises on her neck and shoulders.

Problem in Court?

If the results of the lineup are not admitted as evidence, it could bring the trial to a halt. As lawyer and law professor Rudolf describes it, a central question would become, "Did this photo lineup so taint the witness's identification that she should not be able to identify people in court? If it did, the case is over."

Wells, the identification expert, says there were some elements of the identification process that were done right. Showing the pictures in a sequence rather than all at once, side-by-side is the generally preferred method. When shown the pictures all at once, alleged victims tend to compare them and simply choose the person who looks most like an attacker; on the other hand, when shown the pictures one at a time, they are more likely to pick the actual attacker him or herself.

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