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Simmons v. United States

United States Supreme Court
390 U.S. 377 (1968)



Simmons, Andrews, and Garrett (defendants) were suspected of committing an armed robbery of a savings and loan association. The robbery occurred in the afternoon and lasted about five minutes. The next day, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents presented at least six snapshots of Simmons and Andrews to the five bank employees who witnessed the robbery. All five witnesses identified Simmons. Some time later, photos of Garrett were presented to the witnesses, and three witnesses identified Garrett as the other robber. The photos were not introduced into evidence, but the witnesses all identified Simmons in court as a robber. A jury convicted Simmons, Andrews, and Garrett. The appellate court affirmed the convictions of Simmons and Garrett but reversed Andrews's conviction. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari as to Simmons and Garrett. Simmons contended, among other things, that his pretrial identification was so unnecessarily suggestive and conducive to misidentification that it violated his due-process rights.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)

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