Friday, June 6, 2014

Machine-created evidence is not hearsay

Whilst the article from is about red light cameras, one can see the argument coming for CCTV systems.

"The ATES-generated photographs and video introduced here as substantive evidence of defendant's infraction are not statements of a person as defined by the Evidence Code. (§§ 175, 225.) Therefore, they do not constitute hearsay as statutorily defined. (§ 1200, subd. (a).) Because the computer controlling the ATES digital camera automatically generates and imprints data information on the photographic image, there is similarly no statement being made by a person regarding the data information so recorded. Simply put, ―[t]he Evidence Code does not contemplate that a machine can make a statement."

"Goldsmith's attorneys also argued that, because the Redflex technician in charge of preparing evidence didn't show up at her trial, the images could not be admitted. What's more, Goldsmith's attorneys said that she had the constitutional right to face her accuser. In this case, her accuser is a machine.

She also challenged the character of Redflex, which has a prior record of falsifying speed camera documents (PDF) in Arizona.

The court didn't bite on that argument, either."

"It would be pure conjecture to conclude that all evidence generated by Redflex ATES technology and handled by Redflex employees for Inglewood is suspect because of the actions of a single errant notary public in a different state regarding a different type of technology and documentation. We have denied defendant’s request for judicial notice and reject her argument that the involvement of Redflex in this case requires a different constitutional conclusion."

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