From: Michael Benveniste on
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 09:56:46 -0800, Savageduck wrote:

> In the great majority of cases, crime scene photography is clinical and
> unbiased, so that the investigation can progress in an unbiased way. I
> am afraid Hollywood and TV has put too much into selling what is not
> reality.

The jury knows who pays crime scene photographers, and who pays them.
And they watch TV and movies, so it's easier to create doubt no matter
how professional and clinical the photographer actually is. After all,
Gus Grissom hangs out with Jim Brass, not with the defense attorneys.

As prosecutors are finding out with the "CSI effect," the impact of
TV on juries is very real and exploitable.

>> "Late entry?" Introducing a fact not in evidence?
> It has been attempted.

With every type of evidence imaginable, yes. The problem is the
late entry itself.

> Today there is a very disciplined methodology to the photography, video
> & still, of crime scenes, and it is highly improbable that a casual snap
> shooter is going to capture more than an overview shot. That is unless
> the casual shooter has entered and contaminated the crime scene before
> it was secured by police.

I agree that interfering with a crime scene is not only stupid but
criminally stupid, but the antagonism towards "civilian" photography
goes well beyond that. For example, how is someone filming an arrest,
such as happened here, contaminating a crime scene?

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/12/police_fight_cellphone_recordings/

> I was just trying to establish your credentials and the basis of your
> position. That had not been made clear until now. I believe most
> regulars in this group are aware of my old profession.

Again, I look forward to you citing such cases.

> The bottom line for all of this is the undeniable issue of Court room
> dynamics dictated by each table, and the presiding Judge. ...and
> certainly regardless of the quality of evidence, once one side or the
> other is given the opportunity to introduce doubt, that evidence can be
> sidelined in the minds of the jury. ...or it can be given a value far
> beyond its true significance. There is an element of the theater in many
> of those presentations.

There is undoubtedly an element of theater in any trial. If you're
going to claim that digital watermarking and the like add gravitas
to the prosecutions case, I'll happily defer to those people who
spent their careers in the trenches.

The reason there have been fairly few "faked photo cases," is that
it's typically a lousy trial tactic for either side. It's easier
to create doubt in the interpretation or witness bias than in the
actual photograph.

As an example, consider O.J.'s civil trial. In that trial, the
defense tried to assert the shoe photos were faked. It failed
miserably, even though the damning photos were taken by a civilian,
there was no chain of custody, _and_ some of the photos were "late
adds" to the plaintiff's case.

--
Mike Benveniste -- mhb(a)murkyether.com (Clarification Required)
Its name is Public opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles
everything. Some think it is the voice of God. -- Mark Twain
From: Michael Benveniste on
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 19:54:37 +0000, Ray Fischer wrote:

> Claims by the defense that the police are corrupt seldom go over very
> well with juries.

Alleging corruption is a very different thing than implying bias. There
are many ways to present a photograph so that it is still accurate and
fair, but still generates the emotional response you are looking for.
Compare, for example, a mug shot to a good professional portrait.

We expect our judges and juries to be impartial, but we shouldn't
expect the same thing from the police or state criminalists.

--
Mike Benveniste -- mhb(a)murkyether.com (Clarification Required)
Its name is Public opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles
everything. Some think it is the voice of God. -- Mark Twain
From: Savageduck on
On 2010-02-13 15:13:17 -0800, Michael Benveniste <mhb(a)murkyether.com> said:

> On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 19:54:37 +0000, Ray Fischer wrote:
>
>> Claims by the defense that the police are corrupt seldom go over very
>> well with juries.
>
> Alleging corruption is a very different thing than implying bias. There
> are many ways to present a photograph so that it is still accurate and
> fair, but still generates the emotional response you are looking for.
> Compare, for example, a mug shot to a good professional portrait.
>
> We expect our judges and juries to be impartial, but we shouldn't
> expect the same thing from the police or state criminalists.

Why not?
Your prejudice against police and state criminalists is showing.

An investigator, or criminalist with a bias against any potential
suspect is not doing their job.
That sort of bias can lead to errors in logic, and closes the
investigation to eliminate other possibilities.
It also brings the entire investigation into question and could lead to
impeachment of all aspects of the investigation. You should have an
expectation of an impartial investigation, anything else would be an
ethical failure.

Certainly some officers might have opinions, but when they voice those
opinions within an investigative team, they should be prepared to
support their argument with more than "gut" feeling or assumptive
opinion.
Good investigative work requires far more than following hunches and
maintaining a "Dirty Harry" sneer. The path to your conclusions is one
which, when handed to DA investigators (now they might be biased) they
can follow to give the prosecutorial team what they need.
As you know the same evidence those police and criminalists, you claim
you have no expectation of impartiality from, is going to be available
to the defense on discovery, and will be challenged.

Now that is as far as the collection of evidence and investigation
goes. That does not mean that once that investigation has lead to the
likely subjects in any case, you might not have the opinion the
individual is a POS. I have certainly known many a POS and poor excuse
for humanity in my time. I have also witnessed some tragedies which
have destroyed lives, where the guilty party was also a victim of
circumstance.

The real biased opinions lie with the trial DA and the defense attorney.



--
Regards,

Savageduck

From: Ray Fischer on
Michael Benveniste <mhb(a)murkyether.com> wrote:
> Ray Fischer wrote:

>> Claims by the defense that the police are corrupt seldom go over very
>> well with juries.
>
>Alleging corruption is a very different thing than implying bias. There
>are many ways to present a photograph so that it is still accurate and
>fair, but still generates the emotional response you are looking for.
>Compare, for example, a mug shot to a good professional portrait.

That has almost nothing to do with police work and everything to do
with lawyers in courts. They select the evidence to be presented, and
if a photo is believed to be biased then it's the job of the attorney
to show how and why.

>We expect our judges and juries to be impartial, but we shouldn't
>expect the same thing from the police or state criminalists.

Now all you have to do is show any bias. Granted, forensic photos of
victims are often emotionally disturbing, but that does not make them
biased.

--
Ray Fischer
rfischer(a)sonic.net

From: Savageduck on
On 2010-02-13 23:26:25 -0800, rfischer(a)sonic.net (Ray Fischer) said:

> Michael Benveniste <mhb(a)murkyether.com> wrote:
>> Ray Fischer wrote:
>
>>> Claims by the defense that the police are corrupt seldom go over very
>>> well with juries.
>>
>> Alleging corruption is a very different thing than implying bias. There
>> are many ways to present a photograph so that it is still accurate and
>> fair, but still generates the emotional response you are looking for.
>> Compare, for example, a mug shot to a good professional portrait.
>
> That has almost nothing to do with police work and everything to do
> with lawyers in courts. They select the evidence to be presented, and
> if a photo is believed to be biased then it's the job of the attorney
> to show how and why.
>
>> We expect our judges and juries to be impartial, but we shouldn't
>> expect the same thing from the police or state criminalists.
>
> Now all you have to do is show any bias. Granted, forensic photos of
> victims are often emotionally disturbing, but that does not make them
> biased.

....er thanks Ray.

--
Regards,

Savageduck