Commonwealth v. I.D.
On May 14, 2013, a man was shot in both legs in an abandoned lot. He was rushed to the hospital by police after losing consciousness, and fortunately doctors were able to save his life. However, he identified I.D. and another male, M.B. as the shooters in this almost homicide trial in Philadelphia. In his statement to police, the victim claimed he had known the two shooters their entire lives and had watched them grow up (at trial, this changed to only having seem them around the neighbourhood for a year). He claimed that the shooting was in retaliation for a dispute he had with other younger kids in the neighbourhood. Prior to trial the defense combed through hundreds of pages of medical records and discovered that the victim had PCP in his system at the time of the shooting, thus hampering his ability to make a positive investigation and turning this into a potential drug offense. At trial, detectives were cross examined about their failure to show photo arrays to several other witnesses who had given inconsistent descriptions of the shooters, describing them as being in their late teens (both defendants were approximately 30). Additionally, the defense established that the police had used outdated photo identification procedures with the victim, which increased the likelihood of a misidentification. Specifically, their interrogation of the victim caused him to engage in a “relative thought process” whereby he would have picked out a person from an array that most closely resembled the real shooters. A jury ultimately agreed with the defense that there was not enough corroborating evidence and too many holes in the Commonwealth’s case, and found I.D. not guilty.