Monday, June 11, 2012

The judges were right

This retired news editor laments that a panel of judges unanimously threw out a $425 red light camera ticket on the basis of the fact that the officer did not see the infraction.  The judges ruled that the photographic evidence was hearsay and was therefore excludable.  Hearsay is inadmissable unless there is an exception.  There is no exception for photographs.  Even Wikipedia has a decent explanation of hearsay and explains that hearsay applies to more than verbal statements.  Why do we have hearsay rules?  The primary reason is so that the trier of fact can evaluate the credibility of the statement.  The trier of fact has no way of evaluating the credibility of a camera.  You don't have to spend too much time online to figure out that videos and photographs are both easily faked.

Apparently, it is more important to the author that California's $16 billion deficit be addressed than for people to get a fair and constitutional trial.

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