Originally Posted by mneblett
Be careful with this -- this May 2010 decision appears to reverse the conviction on the ground that the prosecutor did not provide enough evidence, of the correct type, to permit the photographs to be used in *this* case.
The appeals court did *not* say that photo enforcement is per se improper. All they said was "prosecutor, do it right if you want to win."
After this decision, all a prosecutor has to do is dot the i's and cross the t's to establish that the photographs are "trustworthy" per the long-standing rules of evidence, and then the photos can come into evidence to be used as a basis for a conviction. The decision may have made it a bit more of a pita for the prosecutor to line up testimony from the camera contractor's people, but that's about it -- it didn't provide a death blow to photo enforcement.
I'm not a Lawyer.
I think it will take quite a lot more than crossing T's and dotting i. It seems like this ruling came form a panel of 3 justices appointed by a higher court to crank out the decision. What I came away with is that the court overturned the lower court based on several laws, rulings and findings. Major points for the prosecutors to adopt and not that easily achieved:
1 Intersection is a public space unlike a bank, liquor store or building entity (hard to change that)
2. A private surveillance outfit is not a government agency. Thus they cannot represent governance of traffic laws being broken. The caretaker/custodian will have to be a member of law enforcement to monitor the system 24/7. It was stressed he must have up to date knowledge on the workings of the system, maintenance of the system, how the records are gathered and documented and most important trustworthiness meaning how soon after the violation the evidence is noted. Like instant replay in sports.
3. Their final decision was based on SEVERAL prior cases and rulings. Some dating as far back as '75 that is 1975. The Jurists were very detailed in building their foundation and laying out the i's and t's. And by using those other cases to show what could be allowed and what did not cut mustard.
Physically I have seen cameras disturbed by the wind and weather elements, power outages or just instrument malfunctions.
But the court is clear no easy fix to be taken seriously.