In Commonwealth v. Thomas, 476 Mass. 451 (2017), the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court “urged police departments to devise a protocol for the identification of inanimate objects where such an identification would inculpate a defendant.” In devising such a protocol, police departments are urged to consider whether:
- The witness should be asked to provide a verbal description of the object before the object is shown to the witness;
- The officer should tell the witness that the object that will be shown may or may not be the object the witness described;
- Witness certainty should be inquired of by the officer if an identification is made; &
- Clarificiaton should be obtained as to whether the object is the one the witness saw, or whether it simply looks like the object.
If you or someone you know is charged with an offense where identification of an inamimate object or a photo thereof is made, it is important to have a criminal lawyer with you who understands identification evidence. Contact Criminal Lawyer Massachusetts Shane W. Surrette at (774) 364-4605 or at [email protected] today.