The Five Factors that Determine the Reliability of Identification

TheFive Factors that Determine the Reliability of Identification

TheFive Factors that Determine the Reliability of Identification

TheNeil vs. Bigger is a case in which the Supreme Court used to outlinefive major factors that the criminal judicial system should use toidentify the eye witness who should be allowed admissible in acompetent court of law. The respondent in this case was accusedconvicted of rape, where part of the evidence consisted of voice andvisual identification of the respondent (Garland, 2011). This meansthat the case revolved around the reliability of the victim’sidentification of the suspected criminal, thus giving the SupremeCourt an opportunity to set the guideline of the reliability of suchidentification.

TheSupreme Court came up with a set of five guidelines that couldenhance the reliability of the identification of eye witnesses.First, the court should determine the chances that the witness had toview the suspected criminal during the time of the crime (Garland,2011). Secondly, the court should determine the degree of attentionof the purported eye-witness to ensure that the crime must havecreated an opportunity for the eyewitness to pay attention to itsunfolding. Third, the accuracy with which the eyewitness describedthe crime before delivering the witness before the court should beused to determine the reliability of such a witness. Fourth, thecourt should assess the level of certainty that the witnessdemonstrates, especially when confronted during the court sessions todetermine whether the witness of accurate and reliable. Lastly, thelength of time between the time when the crime occurred and the timewhen the witness was confronted can determine the accuracy with whichthe witness if able to give credible witness (Garland, 2011).

Thelaw enforcement agencies have a duty to ensure that the guidelinesare followed. Adhering to these guidelines means that only reliablewitnesses and admissible suspects are presented before the court.This will ensure that both the suspect and the victim obtain justice.


Garland,N. (2011). Criminalevidence (6thed.).New York, NY: McGraw Hill.