PROCEDURE FOR CONDUCTING AN IDENTIFICATION PARADE
The identification of a suspected person must be very carefully conducted and it is very wrong to point out the suspected person and ask, ‘Is that the man?’ The usual and proper way is to place the suspected person with a sufficient number of others and to have the identifying witness pick out the accused without any assistance. It is highly improper to invite witnesses to identify the accused not mixed up with other people. A parade with only the accused on parade is definitely not an identification parade known to law.
It is important to mention that none of our local rules of evidence makes provision for how an identification parade should be conducted. The rules of conducting same have been adopted from common law rules in England. Some of these procedures include:
1. Immediately before the procedure, the suspect must be reminded of the procedure and cautioned as appropriate.
2. All unauthorized persons must be excluded from the place where the identification is held.
3. Once the parade has begun, everything should be done to the hearing of the suspect and, if any, his interpreter.
4. The parade shall consist of at least eight people, in addition to the suspect, who resemble the suspect in age, height, general appearance, etc.
5. If the suspect has an unusual physical feature, like a facial scar, or tattoo, which cannot be replicated on other members of the parade, steps should be taken to conceal it.
6. Where there is more than one suspect, separate identification parades should be held for each of them, except if they are of the same build.
7. Suspect may select his own position in the line, but otherwise should not interfere with the order.
8. Where there is more than one witness, the suspect may, if he wishes, change his position in the lineup after each witness.
9. Each position in the lineup must be clearly numbered.
10. Witnesses are not to communicate with each other before the parade, or overhear another witness who has already seen the lineup.
11. Witnesses must not see the suspect before or after the identification parade.
12. The officer in charge of the parade must not communicate with the witness about the composition of the parade and whether another witness has made any identification.
13. When the last witness has left, the suspect shall be asked if he wishes to make any comments on the conduct of the identification parade.
14. A video recording should normally, be made of the identification proceedings. If not possible, colour photographs should be taken. A record of the conduct of the parade should be made on forms provided for that purpose.