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Foster v. California

United States Supreme Court
394 U.S. 440 (1969)



Foster and two other men (defendants) were charged with robbing a Western Union. Police conducted multiple lineups before June 12, 1967. The police conducted a lineup consisting of Foster, who was wearing clothing similar to the robbers, and two much shorter men. The Western Union manager could not positively identify Foster and asked to speak with Foster. Police allowed the manager to meet with Foster in an office. The manager was still uncertain. Later, police conducted another lineup with Foster and four other men. Foster was the only man present in both lineups. At that point the manager claimed to be certain Foster was the robber. The manager testified to all this at trial, and Foster was convicted. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether the lineup procedures were constitutional.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fortas, J.)

Dissent (Black, J.)

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