Digital Pictures in the Courtroom

By Deane Barker on February 10, 2004

Digital photography poses thorny issues for justice system: Interesting article on how digital photography is being treated in the courtroom. Digital photographs can be manipulated relatively easily and lawyers pounce on this fact, so introducing them as evidence isn’t the slam-dunk that traditional film pictures were.

As more police departments abandon chemically processed film in favor of digital photography, the technology could be confounding for the justice system. Film images are subject to darkroom tricks, but because digital pictures are merely bits of data, manipulating them is much easier.

And although willful evidence manipulation is rare, forensic specialists acknowledge that a poorly trained examiner incorrectly using computer enhancement programs can unwittingly introduce errors.