The ACLU-NJ participated as a friend of the court to ensure the reliability of out-of-court identification procedures. In this robbery case, when the victim went to the police station to observe photographs in a photo array, the police wrote down who he picked but failed to record in anyway a “confidence statement.” In a series of identification cases in the last several years, the NJ Supreme Court has mandated that law enforcement create such a record at the time of the identification. This prevents witnesses from bolstering their confidence as time passes. Our brief that highlights the importance of this procedural safeguards in ensuring the reliability of eyewitness identifications and urges that the identification should have been suppressed.
On March 13, 2019, the New Jersey Supreme Court modified its rules on eyewitness identification, making clear a preference for videotaping the identification process.