Lawmakers seek changes in police lineups


Pointing to a need for neutrality, two Republican lawmakers have filed bills that would lead to changes in the way police conduct lineups to identify suspected criminals.

Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, filed a bill (HB 643) Monday that is identical to a measure (SB 312) filed last month by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala.

The proposal deals with witnesses to crimes identifying suspects in police lineups.

The legislation would require independent administrators, who are not involved in the investigations and are not aware of the identities of the suspected criminals, to conduct such lineups.

As an alternative, the legislation would allow photo lineups that would be required to be "carefully structured to achieve neutral administration and to prevent the lineup administrator from knowing which photograph is being presented to the eyewitness during the identification procedure."

The bills are filed for the legislative session that starts March 7.