Can a Victim Identify a Suspect Simply by Blinking?


Crime victims are often called upon to identify the perpetrator. In fact, eyewitness testimony is used in approximately eighty thousand cases each year.

Law enforcement can use a number of different tools to identify suspects. In many cases, a witness or victim will be asked to identify the suspect from a given lineup of several individuals. When the eyewitness makes a positive identification, he or she traditionally does so verbally or in writing. But what about blinking?

In a criminal trial currently underway in Ohio, prosecutors will introduce a videotaped police interview with David Chandler, who was shot in the head and neck. Lying paralyzed in his hospital bed, Chandler was shown photographs and identified his assailant by blinking his eyes three times.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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