State v. Hunter
State v. Hunter, 2021 UT 44 (Pearce, J.)
Defendant was convicted of distributing a controlled substance. He appealed, arguing that his counsel was ineffective for not requesting an instruction on the potential unreliability of eyewitness identification testimony—often referred to as a Long instruction. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed on the basis that a Long instruction applied only to “memory-based” identifications and not “real-time identifications,” like the one at issue here. On certiorari, the Utah Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, but vacated the court of appeals’ holding that Long did not apply:
- OF NOTE: Eyewitness identifications need not involved long-term memory or facial recognition to invoke Long. A Long instruction can be requested for “real-time” eyewitness identifications. But here, counsel did not provide ineffective assistance in failing to request such an instruction, as counsel may have believed it would hurt Defendant’s case.