Case Summary Essay
CJ327-01: Crime Scene Photography
Prof. Tracy Guaderrama
Photographs, motion pictures, and videotapes are generally admissible in court. Some legal challenges are rare when it comes to scientific grounds. The field of science and the field of photography in relation to the criminal justice system have dramatically evolved over the past one hundred years. Photographic evidence according to Nemeth is admissible based on six standards of relevancy. That is; whenever it proves some material fact in issue, appears to be competent, assists the trier of fact in understanding the cases, corroboration of evidence of oral testimony in both civil and criminal cases, disproves the testimony of a witness, and when is assists a witness in illustrating or explaining their testimony (Nemeth, 2011). How did courts decide photographs were admissible? There were many court cases that has helped along the way to help this matter such as the cases of United States vs. Clayton and Connecticut Vs. Swinton.
Photographic evidence has been in use in the criminal justice system for over a hundred years. Photographing the crime scene helps when showing the scene as is. It has played such an important role when it comes to the criminal justice system in documenting evidence, identifying suspects, and also illustrating facts. When photographs first originated in 1973, federal rules of evidence concerning admissibility of photographic evidence into the court case were established. They were established because they are both relevant and must meet the Kelly Frye standard. The California Supreme Court adopted the Frye standard in the People V. Kelly case of 1976. According to Ferguson, the Frye standard refers to the standards that are expected when admitting evidence at trial. It states that the evidence must include scientific and evidence but must also be accepted by the scientific community (Ferguson, 2008)....