The case is one of an innocent life nearly cut short at the hands of two teens in a gunfight. Both were convicted of attempted murder but according to this editorial in the Baltimore Sun, their convictions were the result of good police work and not the high-tech cameras or GPS systems in use at the time.
Baltimore is one of several cities around the country that has installed numerous surveillance cameras in an attempt to discourage crime on their street corners. But, as the editorial suggests, the cameras don’t deliver “crisp, clear images” and instead convey highly pixelated and fuzzy images. In a case with less evidence, such images could have worked in the defendant’s benefit.
Since 2004, the city of Baltimore is said to have sunk over $15 million into such cameras—cameras that can’t identify a face from 100 feet away. These cameras are all over the city and one has to wonder what good they are doing. One commonly held belief is that they don’t prevent crime at all and if anything, they simply move crime.
Another interesting flaw in the use of technology in criminal justice that this case uncovered is the function of GPS monitoring. One of the defendants in this case was attached to monitoring as part of a juvenile case. However, the monitor bracelet only had the capacity to say if the man left home—not where he went or how far.
While his exact location via GPS would have been nice for the prosecution in this case, tracking offenders down to their every-minute latitude-longitude seems a little extreme and not likely appropriate for a juvenile offender thought to be at no risk to the community.
The fact it, technology cannot eliminate crime. And sometimes, even the most “advanced” technology can’t solve crime either. However, such technological instruments can be used as evidence in criminal trials, making their effectiveness and reliability a serious issue.
If you are facing criminal charges, it is the responsibility of your defense attorney to look at all of the evidence against you. As your lawyer, I would question any evidence the state submits, ensuring its integrity and making certain your rights were not violated in any way during the collection of such evidence.