Tuesday, July 20, 2010

People v Khaled

From People v Khaled (Case No. 30-2009-304893 - Ca. Superior Court - Appellate Div. - Orange County): "... the police department of the City of Santa Ana issued a traffic citation to the appellant alleging a violation of California Vehicle Code section 21453, subdivision (a). A traffic trial was held on the matter ..."

This is how it started. In order to prove it's case against Khaled, photographs were introduced to show Khaled driving through an intersection. Khaled objected - asserting that the introduction of the photos (and declarations by the police officers in support of the photos) were inadmissible hearsay. The trial judge overruled the objection and admitted the photos as "business records, official records, and because a proper foundation for the admission had been made based on the submitted declaration."

On appeal, the appeals court ruled that the trial court erred in admitting the photos over Khaled's hearsay and confrontation clause objections. With the photos gone, the judgment was reversed.

But wait, there's more ...

The court declared the "date, time, and other information" hearsay evidence as the person who entered that info into the system did not testify, nor was he/she subject to cross examination.

But wait, there's more ...

The person or persons who maintain the system didn't testify. "No one with personal knowledge testified about how often the date and time are verified or corrected."

Oh, we're not even close to being done yet ...

"The person with direct knowledge of the workings of the camera-computer system did not testify. Instead, the prosecution chose to submit the testimony of a local police officer ..." "This witness testified that sometime in the distant past, he attended a training session where he was instructed on the overall working of the system at the time of the training ..." The officer "was unable to testify about the specific procedure for the programming and storage of the system information."

It just keeps getting better ...

I think that you know where this is going. Take a look at the published ruling. I can think of many situations where this will apply. How many can you think of ... ?


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