Prosecutors have been twice burned this week by apparent mishandling of their video evidence.
First we learned about a cross-examination that weakened the prosecution’s re-enactment video in a Chesapeake murder case. Now comes word that video bungling has brought a mistrial in another murder case, this one in Henrico.
In the Chesapeake trial of a man charged with killing a police officer, a detective was forced to admit on the stand that a police re-enactment video was inaccurate in a critical detail. The Virginian-Pilot reports the officer conceded that the video did not correctly depict the all-important “knock-and-announce” as police arrived at the home of the accused.
Today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has word on a mistrial declared in the case of a Henrico County man convicted of killing his girlfriend. It seems the jury was allowed to view a videotape interview with the defendant, including portions the judge had ruled inadmissable.
Thinking of using video evidence at court? Be very afraid.
By Peter Vieth, with a tip of the hat to Ride The Lightning