United States v. Johnson, No. 13-1350 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Convicted of robbing three banks, Johnson was sentenced to 220 months’ imprisonment. At trial Prince told the jury that he and Johnson had planned and executed the robberies together. Williams testified that Prince asked her to give him a ride one day and was accompanied by a stranger. She drove them several places, lastly a grocery store. Prince and the stranger entered the store and robbed the branch bank inside. Williams picked a photo of Johnson from an array of six photos. On appeal, Johnson argued that the judge should not have allowed Williams and the agent who conducted the array to testify about the identification because the Seventh Circuit has suggested that police show photographs sequentially rather than in an array. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the conviction, noting that Johnson did not attempt to show that all photo spreads are unnecessary and suggestive, or make it impossible for counsel to use the tools of the adversary process to explore an identification’s reliability. All six photos met Williams’s description and the array was not suggestive. The court also imposed a fine on Johnson’s attorney for omitting, from his brief, the court’s reasons for declining to exclude the identification.