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Name: People v. Carlos
Case #: B178957
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/19/2006
Summary

A photographic lineup that displayed the defendant’s photo directly above his name and identification was unnecessarily suggestive. The defendant was convicted of two counts of robbery. Prior to trial, officers had prepared a six-pack photo array to show to witnesses. Defendant’s photo was in the number 5 position in the six-pack, directly above his printed name and identification number. One victim was not able to identify anyone in the photo array, and two other witnesses identified the defendant. The six-pack was not given to defense counsel prior to trial. After viewing the array during a court recess, trial counsel moved to exclude the pretrial identification, but the court denied the motion. One witness testified that she was still unable to identify defendant as the robber, a second testified that he had identified a suspect in the photo lineup but that he did not see the person in the courtroom, and the third testified that the deputy who had handed him the six-pack had told him that he had to pick the defendant. The Court of Appeal reversed the conviction, holding that the array was unduly suggestive because the defendant’s name was printed directly below his picture. The admission of the pretrial identifications violated the defendant’s right to due process, and the error was not harmless under the Chapman standard.