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NCJ Number: 203567 Find in a Library
Title: Digital Photographic Evidence and the Adjudication of Domestic Violence Cases
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:31  Issue:6  Dated:November/December 2003  Pages:579-587
Author(s): Crystal A. Garcia
Editor(s): Kent B. Joscelyn
Date Published: November 2003
Page Count: 9
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the impact of digital photographic evidence in the adjudication of misdemeanor domestic battery cases in two Indiana counties.
Abstract: Improving the likelihood of conviction in domestic assault cases entails improving the quality of evidence submitted to the court. Digital photography is one way of improving the quality of evidence. Where an investigating officer responds to a domestic battery call where a crime has occurred and he/she has a digital camera, is properly trained, and is employed by a department that has an appropriate program in place to support the technology, prosecutors will have a greater chance of successful prosecution. Digital images offer the court an accurate depiction of the event. In addition it allows investigators to record even slight injuries and it provides immediate feedback to the investigator. The study collected quantitative data to assess the impact of digital photographic evidence. It analyzed whether the adjudication outcomes in domestic batteries differed between cases with the digital technology evidence (treatment group) and cases with no digital technology evidence (comparison group). Two sources of data were used: (1) quantitative data collected from police reports, prosecutor, and court files and (2) informal group discussions with officers and unstructured interviews with prosecutors. The findings from the analysis of quantitative data were promising. Defendants in the treatment group were six times more likely to plead guilty, four and one-half times more likely to be convicted, and five times more likely to be sentenced to time in custody. While the findings are suggestive of larger numbers of guilty pleas, higher conviction rates, and more sever sentences, they are limited. Appendix and references
Main Term(s): Evidence
Index Term(s): Camera technology; Domestic assault; Evidence collection; Investigations; Investigative techniques; Photographic analyses; Photography techniques; Police equipment; Science and Technology
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