The Difficulties of Casting Police Lineups: 400-Pound Robber Edition

An appeals court overturned a conviction against Eric Kenley, charged with driving the getaway car in two robberies in downtown Manhattan back in 2007. Kenley is a big guy — 6-foot-4, 400 pounds — and as such, fit the eyewitness descriptions of the man they saw at the scene of the crimes: "A huge, big, fat, black guy." When it came time to identify him in a police lineup, however, finding other, huge, big, fat, black guys to stand next to Kenley proved an insurmountable challenge. From the NYP:

"Although the fillers were large men, there was a very noticeable weight difference between defendant and the fillers," the ruling said.

"We do not mean to suggest that the police are obligated to find grossly overweight fillers when dealing with situation presented here, and we recognize the practical difficulties that would be involved in doing so."

Kenley, who had already served 24 years for a 1981 murder conviction, will now face a retrial — one that won't allow in lineup evidence. Meanwhile, I've suddenly been struck with a craving to watch an all-cons version of The Biggest Loser, shot entirely behind bars. I would watch that. That is something I would watch.