Court: Suspects Cannot Be Identified by Face Tattoos


A New Jersey appellate court on Monday overturned a man’s robbery conviction, finding that a witness’ identification of him that was based on his face tattoos wasn’t reliable evidence.

A detective investigating a 2015 grocery store robbery in Trenton initially showed the witness a set of photos including one of Donnell Perry. But the witness didn’t pick Perry out of that grouping.

The detective then showed the witness another set of photos including Perry, but Perry’s photo was the only one showing someone with facial tattoos. The witness later testified at a hearing that he didn’t pick Perry’s photo in the first set because that photo showed him without tattoos.

The appellate court ruled Monday that the photo issues made the witness’s identification unreliable, so it should have been suppressed.