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Neil v. Biggers
United States Supreme Court
409 U.S. 188 (1972)
Biggers (defendant) was suspected of rape. Although it was dark, the victim claimed to have seen the assailant in the light of her bedroom and later in the light of the full moon. The victim described the rapist’s age, size, skin, and voice. Police conducted numerous photo lineups, but the victim made no identification. Biggers was arrested for an unrelated offense. Police could not find anyone fitting the rapist’s description, so they conducted a showup identification. Police walked Biggers by the victim and asked Biggers to speak. The victim identified Biggers as the rapist. Biggers was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 20 years in prison. After a habeas corpus hearing, the district court overturned Biggers’ conviction. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
Dissent (Brennan, J.)
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