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Criminal Law Memorandum

Statement of the Legal Issue

John Smith is become a suspect after unraveling the Case and using a post office. The offender had to be apprehended in his flat when the police discovered that some of the emails were taken from the post office. When John Smith broke inside the building, a witness recognized him. The suspect was apprehended after the witness gave the police a rough description of the offender. After then, John was put in a line-up while being held by the police. In a similar vein, the witness had earlier characterized him as having entered into the post office where the email’s fragments had been taken. This document assesses the admissibility of the lineup before the Court.


The information given in the scenario is true and reasonable. The witness’s descriptions of John Smith’s look and clothes indicate that he was there at the murder scene. Smith’s 6th Amendment rights were violated, making the lack of attorney participation during the line-up illegal.

Legal Issue

If the identification procedure complied with the 6th Amendment’s criteria, the line-up procedure would be deemed acceptable. According to the 6th Amendment, the accused has legal access to counsel as well as other forms of assistance and direction. According to the Supreme Court, the line-up phase of a criminal trial is vital. In addition, the court claims that the presence of the defense attorney is crucial since they defend the accused person’s rights. Therefore, according to the Supreme Court’s rationale, a lineup is inherently suggestive. The Supreme Court has established at least two-part standards to find any violations during line-up identification (Wade, 388 U.S. at 218). The first is whether the identifying procedure was deemed a “Critical stage” throughout the procedures. Another is if the accused’s attorney was refused access at that precise point. John Smith seems to have been lined up for identification in the absence of legal representation. The suspect seems to have been refused more support and direction from the council at a crucial moment.

The Supreme Court may decide to grant Wade an extension to file an application relating to pre-indictment line-ups in the Kirby v. Illinois case.

Application to John Smith’s Case

In relation to the Case of John Smith, the council was not involved in the line-up procedure. Because of this, it is feasible to argue that the procedure in Kirby and Wade violated Smith’s 6th Amendment right to legal representation. The event of line-ups really took place following his arrest. Following John Smith’s arrest, the post-indictment situation satisfies Wade’s requirements. Even if the line-up was conducted prior to John Smith’s arrest in accordance with Kirby and the 6th Amendment’s requirements, it would still be crucial throughout the criminal case (Kirby, 406 U.S. at 682).

Pre-indictment lineups are necessary in criminal proceedings (Kirby, 406 U.S. at 682). In addition, during pre-indictment lineups, the court established the essential qualities of a lawyer. The court’s justification is that there is a chance that pre-indictment lineups may lead to erroneous identification. Additionally, the post-indictment lineup in the presence of counsel shows comparable interests at that time.

It is nevertheless clear that the police violated John Smith’s rights when he was in the line-up based on the cases Kirby v. Illinois and United States v. Wade. According to the Wade framework, the identification procedure would be regarded acceptable provided it was carried out consistently. The Supreme Court went on to say that the decision is true whether the defendant is in detention or is represented by counsel. It is evident that John did not have clear access to or legal standing to get legal representation in this matter. His rights may have therefore been infringed in light of the safeguards established by Kirby and Wade (Kirby, 406 U.S. at 682). Additionally, since he lacked an arrest order, his detention at the flat was illegal. The 4th Amendment, which mandates that searches and seizures be justified by a valid warrant, was automatically violated by this action. In this instance, the warrant may only be acquired after establishing probable cause. Therefore, the justification for conducting a search of Smith’s flat has to be made clearer.


It should be emphasized that the line-up was not necessarily indicative. There were around seven persons in the line-up in all, including John Smith. All parties involved shared a number of traits. They were all dressed in identically sized blue pants and white T-shirts. The eyewitness, Emily Jones, first gave conflicting accounts of the person, claiming that he was a white guy. The person was characterized by the witness as being around 5’10” and 180 Bs, with dark hair and a mustache. According to Emily Jones’ descriptions, the suspect furthermore wore a black hat, blue pants, and a blue jacket. As a result, the line-up was conducted in the most uniform manner possible with each participant facing a mirror and turning right and left. However, despite the seven people in the lineup having identical descriptions, John Smith’s look positions him exactly where he belongs—at the murder scene—as he correctly fits the specifics.


Finally, the way the line-up was done in the Case of John Smith has to be altered in accordance with the standards set out by Kirby and Wade. According to Kirby, the council’s failure to provide John Smith with any direction or assistance violated his rights (Kirby, 406 U.S. at 682). John required access to legal representation, thus he was not completely aware of his rights. More clarity was required in the information provided when describing and situating John at the crime scene. Additionally, they violated due process when they searched his flat and arrested him. Therefore, it has to be made clearer if due process complies with the rules of the law. The way the line-up procedure was handled is not supported by enough evidence. Furthermore, by carefully analyzing the witness’s account, it is feasible to spot material that is inconsistent. There has to be greater consistency in the description of John Smith’s appearance at the crime site. The height and weight of the suspect, as well as the hue of his clothing, appear to vary depending on the information provided. In light of this approach, the court could find the line-up’s due process unacceptable, especially in light of the standards set by United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1967).


United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1967).

Kirby v. Illinois, 406 U.S. 682 (1972).


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