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Proceedings Paper

Computerized image processing in the Reginald Denny beating trial
Author(s): Lawrence C. Morrison
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Paper Abstract

New image processing techniques may have significant benefits to law enforcement officials but need to be legally admissible in court. Courts have different tests for determining the admissibility of new scientific procedures, requiring their reliability to be established by expert testimony. The first test developed was whether there has been general acceptance of the new procedure within the scientific community. In 1993 the U.S. Supreme Court loosened the requirements for admissibility of new scientific techniques, although the California Supreme Court later retained the general acceptance test. What the proper standard is for admission of such evidence is important to both the technical community and to the legal community because of the conflict between benefits of rapidly developing technology, and the dangers of 'junk science.' The Reginald Denny beating case from the 1992 Los Angeles riots proved the value of computerized image processing in identifying persons committing crimes on videotape. The segmentation process was used to establish the presence of a tattoo on one defendant, which was key in his identification. Following the defendant's conviction, the California Court of Appeal approved the use of the evidence involving the segmentation process. This published opinion may be cited as legal precedent.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 February 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2942, Investigative Image Processing, (19 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.267179
Show Author Affiliations
Lawrence C. Morrison, Los Angeles District Attorney's Office (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2942:
Investigative Image Processing
Leonid I. Rudin; Simon K. Bramble, Editor(s)

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