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Eyewitness Identification Showup Regulations

Concerning measures related to eyewitness identification techniques, and, in connection therewith, requiring reporting data related to eyewitness techniques and regulating the use of showup identifications.
2021 Regular Session
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

The act requires each law enforcement agency that employs a peace officer who is required to be peace officers standards and training board (P.O.S.T.) certified to adopt written policies and procedures concerning eyewitness identifications, which must be consistent the provisions of this act. Beginning January 1, 2022, each law enforcement agency that uses a showup shall collect for each showup the date, the technique that was used, the gender and race of the suspect, the alleged crime, and the outcome of the showup. Each law enforcement agency shall create an annual report of the data collected.

The act directs that a peace officer may only utilize a showup:

  • Following the report of a crime, when a peace officer, acting on reasonable suspicion, has detained a subject in the crime within minutes of the commission of the crime and near the location of the crime;
  • When, given the circumstances, neither a live lineup nor a photo array isavailable as a means of identification and the eyewitness reasonably believeshe or she can identify the subject;
  • To verify the identity of an intimate relationship in a domestic violence case; or
  • To confirm the identity of a familial subject, including a parent, child, or sibling known to the eyewitness.

Beginning January 1, 2022, a P.O.S.T.-certified peace officer must comply with certain conditions when conducting a showup. The act requires a court to consider any failure by law enforcement to comply with the showup conditions if there is a challenge to the showup identification. The act directs a peace officer conducting a showup to communicate to the eyewitness certain information and instructions about the showup process, and the eyewitness must agree to comply with the instructions for the showup to proceed.

Under current law, local law enforcement agencies must begin collecting certain data relating to contacts conducted by the agencies' peace officers. The act adds data related to showups to that collection requirement beginning in 2023.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details