Sunday, September 20, 2009

Technician or analyst?

From Government Video:

"... For years, video “experts” have been able to “certify” that the video contains certain information and courts usually accept such “evidence” as factual and indisputable. The opposition can challenge the conclusions but rarely gets to challenge how they were reached. Video evidence can make it to court with accompanying conclusion that cannot be supported by objective scientific processing methods. It isn’t that video techs lie; they just do not have the technical training or experience, in many instances, to see past what the ordering agency wants them to see. ..."

" ... Without being told the facts of the case, I (Wayne Cole) was asked to see if I could identify a vehicle or driver from a number of clips taken from typical commercial video security systems. There was no accompanying data, like site measurements, camera distances or lens data. The quality of the video was so bad that all the vehicles appeared as moving, amorphous blobs even after enhancement using various forensic video tools. There was insufficient information to ID a vehicle make or model either by clear visual markings or by photogrammetry and comparison of measurements to vehicles in a database like Expert AutoStats. Yet, according to the television program, police made an identification based on their interpretation of window shapes. Fortunately for California’s homeless population, there was other more compelling evidence (including the defendants’ own taped conversations) that made the security video largely irrelevant. ..."

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

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