Friday, August 12, 2005

US v. Beck

No. 03-30470 (8-10-05). This is an interesting identification appeal. A bank robber was caught on videotape. The police showed the photo to witnesses before showing them a photo line-up. In the photo line-up two of the three picked the defendant; a third picked someone else. At trial, the gov't called defendant's probation officer (described as having a "professional relationship" with the defendant. The first trial hung; the second resulted in this appeal. The 9th found no problem with the eyewitness identification. It was not coercive, nor fundamentally unfair, as the photo line-up was randomly generated and the photos were close enough. The probation officer had enough a relationship (about 70 minutes of face time over the months) to testify that the surveillance photo looked like the defendant. His testimony was permitted under FRE 701.


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