Duquesne Law Review


The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, by extending the rule of United States v. Wade, has held that an accused who is in custody has a right to counsel at pre-trial photographic identifications; that evidence of such out-of-court identifications conducted in the absence of the accused's counsel is not admissible at trial; and that the eyewitnesses in question are not competent to make in-court identifications.

United States v. Zeiler, 427 F.2d 1305 (3d Cir. 1970).

Over a period of more than five years, the Pittsburgh area was the victim of a series of bank robberies, all thought to have been committed by the same person. Such public interest and notoriety attended the robberies and the bandit's ability to avoid detection that the perpetrator was nicknamed the "Commuter Bandit" by the news media. Composite sketches of the alleged bandit were drawn from descriptions given by eyewitnesses, and these were widely distributed to banks and newspapers.

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