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Senate passes bill to change police lineups

The Illinois Senate passed legislation Friday to restructure police lineups to reduce the chance of false witness identifications.

The bill would require so-called blind lineups in which an independent adminstrator conducting the lineup does not know the identity of the suspect or which photo a witness is looking at. The intent is to prevent police from consciously or unconsciously steering witnesses toward choosing a particular suspect.

The bill also calls for videotaping the identification process if the witness agrees.

Many police lineups now are conducted using photos rather than a conventional physical lineup of individuals.

The measure already has cleared the House, but because the Senate tweaked it to give a break to very small police departments who might not be able to afford to make the change, it now returns to the House.