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NCJ Number: NCJ 179751     Find in a Library
Title: Issues in Digital Imaging
Author(s): Tim Dees
  Journal: Law and Order  Volume:47  Issue:10  Dated:October 1999  Pages:108 to 114
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 7
  Annotation: Digital photography has been widely accepted by law enforcement and requires procedures to ensure its admissibility as evidence in court.
Abstract: Digital imaging costs less than film photography, enables photographers to preview their images at the crime scene so they know they have the images they need, and allows a number of images that is limited only by the storage media and the life of the power source. The difference between digital and film images is the media on which the images are stored. The reluctance to use digital imagery for gathering evidence stems mostly from the notion that digital images can be manipulated far more easily than conventional film images. Courts have apparently accepted the digital enhancement of images, but concern remains regarding the issue of tampering. However, the technique used to produce the image is far less crucial than is the veracity of the witness that lays the foundation for the admission of the evidence. The reliability of digital evidence and all other evidence is largely continent on the trier of fact's perception of a witness's credibility. In addition, users should use specific tactics to preserve and store images and should fully document steps taken to enhance an image and bring the evidentiary detail to the surface. Police agencies should keep meticulous records of stored images. Disadvantages of digital photography include its lower versatility than film photography, the high cost of cameras that will accept an accessory lens, its unsuitability for time exposures and other situations, and the large amount of power needed. Photographs
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Evidence collection ; Photography ; Digital communications ; Rules of evidence ; Evidence preservation ; Witness credibility ; Photographic analyses ; Photographic identification ; Police photography training
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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