Prior to the Supreme Court's decision in Manson v. Brathwaite, a substantial amount of confusion existed concerning the judicial test which was to be applied to in-court and out-of-court criminal identification procedures. The Court, in the case of Stovall v. Denno, had first set forth a two stage test for determining whether such procedures were violative of due process. While later cases were somewhat unclear, the Stovall test continued to be used. When the Court again confronted the identification procedure question in the case of Neil v. Biggers, a new "totality of the circumstances" test was set forth. However, since the Neil fact situation arose prior to Stovall, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, when confronted with the instant case of Manson, assumed that the Stovall test still applied to fact situations arising after Stovall, and so ruled. The Supreme Court, however, reversed and held that the Neil test should have been applied, thus clarifying for the first time since Stovall the Court's view on identification procedures. While Manson undoubtedly will have a profound effect on the judicial view of criminal identification procedures, there is some question as to whether the Court chose the proper test in light of the goals the Court attempted to meet.
Barbieri, Frank A. Jr.
"Admissibility of In-court Identifications; Unnecessarily Suggestive Out-of-court Identifications; Due Process; Manson v. Brathwaite,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 11:
4, Article 8.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol11/iss4/8